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Now Available: Preschool for Montana

June 8, 2017View for printing

June marks the end of Montana's school year, and when summer vacation ends and another school year begins this fall, Montana families will have greater access to quality early childhood education programs within their communities.

Working with the 2017 Legislature and with bipartisan support, I am pleased to announce we secured the first-ever state investment in publicly funded preschool. Montana preschool programs will now have the opportunity to utilize this $3 million investment to expand educational services for Montana's four-year-olds--helping them begin their education journey early. Focusing on our youngest Montanans gives all families and their children the building blocks they need to succeed, prosper, and contribute to the state's economy.

This new funding creates the STARS preschool pilot program which will expand access to preschool options that are affordable for families in both small and large communities who want to make sure their kids enter kindergarten ready to learn. Public schools, Head Start programs, childcare providers, private preschools, tribal programs, and community-based preschools are eligible for competitive grants of up to $150,000 to participate in this STARS preschool pilot program. Applications and additional information, including program criteria, are available at Applications for funding must be submitted by 5PM on Monday, July 10, 2017.

As the father of a high school freshman, sixth and fourth grader, no issue is more important to me than extending the opportunities afforded by a quality education to Montana's next generation. Thank you for your continued support of our efforts to help Montana's students and families succeed. I look forward to using these summer months as an opportunity to raise awareness about the benefits of early learning across Montana.



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