Tester Secures More Than $1 Million for Ft. Belknap Early Head Start

Early Head Start – Child Care Partnerships help ensure parents who work at all hours can access childcare

As part of his ongoing efforts to expand access to childcare and early childhood education across Montana, U.S. Senator Jon Tester today announced $1,030,510 for Early Head Start—Child Care Partnerships in the Fort Belknap Indian Community.

“Just because some parents don’t have the luxury of regular, daytime work hours doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have access to convenient childcare,” Tester said. “These Child Care Partnerships help support parents who work while making sure the next generation has the tools and resources they need to succeed, regardless of their financial circumstances.”

Early Head Start—Child Care Partnerships provide Pre-K preparation, daily meals, and advanced health screenings to children ages three through kindergarten in classrooms that are open up to 19 hours a day, seven days a week to ensure parents who work at all hours can access quality affordable childcare.

As a former teacher and school board member and a member of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, 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.

This summer, Tester helped secure nearly $3 million in funding for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Head Start Programs and $3.9 million for Head Start Programs in Blackfeet Nation.