Welcome to Best Beginnings Child Care Referral Program!
How do I get a list of child care providers?
You can get a list of child care providers in 3 different ways:
1. Complete the Child Care Needs Form. This information is transmitted to a referral specialist and processed within 1-5 business days depending on current referral volume and the specific requirements you list. For an immediate listing, please refer to the “Create Online Account” button and access provider information 24 hours per day.
Here are some tips when completing the form.
- The more complete the information, the better we can search for providers that match your requested needs.
- Information about employment, child care assistance, and demographics is strictly for statistical purposes.
- Children’s birthdays are needed because of regulations that determine adult to child ratios.
Below are brief descriptions of the different types of child cares. All are required to be registered/licensed with the State of Montana unless otherwise specified.
- Family Child Care Homes offer a home-like atmosphere with a ratio of one caregiver to a maximum of six children including the provider’s own under the age of six.
- Group Child Care Homes are settings where two adults provide care for a maximum of 12 children including the provider’s own under the age of six. Care is often provided in a private home.
- Child Care Centers care for 13 or more children with hours that normally coincide with regular working hours.
- Preschools are part-day programs and are not regulated in Montana.
- Drop-in Child Cares are not regulated by the state of Montana because the care provided is usually irregular and for shorter periods of time.
2. Create your own online account to access your referrals 24 hours a day. This service offers the ability to obtain immediate results by creating a client profile and pulling providers from our database based on your wants and needs. If you experience any technical difficulties or have any questions with this service, please contact a referral specialist at 1-855-406-CARE (2273).
3. Call us at 1-855-406-CARE (2273) or 406-770-3177 and complete the information over the phone with a referral specialist. This process can take up to 10 minutes to obtain all of your information and the referral will be processed and delivered within 1-5 business days depending on current referral volume and the specific requirements you list.
How long will it be before I get the list of child care providers?
Referral requests for immediate care (within two weeks) shall be processed and distributed to the parent within two (2) working days. Referral requests for future care (two+ weeks away) shall be processed and distributed to the parent within five working days.
What are the business hours for the Best Beginnings Child Care Referral Program?
Our regular business hours are Monday through Friday 8:00 am-5:00 pm.
What should I consider when choosing a child care provider?
We have “Tools to Help You Choose” a child care provider and further information to help your search. Please know that Family Connections does not recommend one program or provider over another, nor do we ensure vacancies within a facility. However, we encourage every parent to contact the child care licensor about all facilities being considered. We have the following links to help you find your local licensor , make a complaint against a licensed/registered provider and search online for substantiated complaints/ licensing deficiencies on a specific provider.
Who should I contact about needing help paying for child care?
There are 11 different Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies across Montana. Find which one could potentially help you pay for child care. If you live in Cascade, Chouteau, Glacier, Pondera, Teton, or Toole counties, Family Connections is your local Child Care Resource and Referral Agency. Visit our Scholarship Page for more information.
After you receive a list of child cares, complete our short online survey and you will be entered to win a $100 gift certificate in our quarterly drawing! Thank you for using the Best Beginnings Child Care Referral Program and good luck with your search.