Tester Secures $3.9 Million For Blackfeet Tribe’s Head Start Programs

$3,954,152 to help fund early childhood development programs in Indian Country

(Big Sandy, Mont.) – As part of his efforts to bolster early childhood education in Indian Country, U.S. Senator Jon Tester announced that the Blackfeet Tribe will receive $3.9 million to fund their Head Start and Early Head Start Programs.

“We must give the next generation of leaders the tools they need to thrive,” said Tester, a member of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. “Early childhood development provides students with a leg up and puts them on the path towards success. Head Start has helped thousands of families across Montana, and I will keep fighting to ensure that every child has access to the resources they need to flourish in the classroom.”

Tester secured $3,954,152 through the Administration for Children and Families for the Blackfeet Tribe to fund early education initiatives that cater curriculums to Native American children. In addition to preparing children for kindergarten, Head Start and Early Head Start provide complete health and nutrition screenings and work with parents to develop childrearing skills. The programs accept children ranging from newborns to age five and cover education, health, nutrition, parental involvement, and social services.

As a former teacher and school board member, Tester has consistently fought for initiatives that will improve education in Indian Country. In May, he reintroduced the Native Educator Support and Training (NEST) Act to recruit more Native teachers and retain qualified educators across Indian Country by providing scholarships, federal student loan forgiveness, and teacher development courses to prospective and current educators. He was also instrumental in negotiating a budget deal that invested millions into Native American education programs earlier this year, and last month, he helped secure nearly $3 million in funding for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Head Start Programs.

You can read the full NEST Act HERE.

Read more about Tester’s efforts to support education initiatives HERE and HERE.