Tester Delivers More Than $1 Million for Great Falls Early Head Start

Grant will help Opportunities, Inc. obtain and provide childcare and early education opportunities

As part of his continued effort to increase access to childcare and early childhood education across Montana, U.S. Senator Jon Tester today announced a $1,096,128 grant for the Opportunities, Inc. Early Head Start program in Great Falls.

“As the coronavirus pandemic continues to upend life as we know it across Montana, the folks who are being hit the hardest—low income families and their children—need our support now more than ever,” said Tester. “Head Start programs help provide these families with the accessible care and resources they need to support their children’s early development, without sacrificing their own job security or breaking the bank.”

The funding comes from the Administration for Children & Families, which oversees Head Start programs across Montana. The grant will help provide better access to crucial resources for early childhood education, and successful nutrition and health for families, including information on pre- and postnatal health. Additionally, Early Head Start provides Pre-K preparation, daily meals, and advanced health screenings to children ages three through kindergarten, and provides 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 senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and a former teacher and school board member, Tester has been an unwavering advocate for education, particularly for low income families. In recent government funding negotiations, he secured more than $10 billion for Head Start Programs nationwide, an increase of more than $550 million over the previous year. He also recently announced multiple grants for Head Start programs across Montana including more than $3.1 million for Ravalli Head Start, more than $3.5 million for Head Start in Billings, more than $500,000 for Early Head Start in Butte, nearly $1.5 million for Missoula Head Start, and more than $1 million for Havre’s program.