AWARE’s Early Head Start Childcare Partnership program partners with local childcare agencies in Belgrade, Bozeman, Butte, East Helena and Helena, Mont., that provide Early Head Start services. AWARE contracts with these local childcare facilities to have Early Head Start slots in their centers. AWARE serves 80 children and families through the Childcare Partnership program grant. Families must be eligible for state childcare subsidies and meet the same income guidelines for all Early Head Start families.
The purpose of Early Head Start ChildCare Partnership is to:
- Increase the quality and capacity of childcare through partnerships with community childcare providers
- Provide continuity of care for children birth to age three
- Offer comprehensive family services, recognizing the parent as the child’s first teacher
- Support positive child development for children from low income families
Services and benefits to Families:
- Consistency in childcare regardless of change in socioeconomic status
- Diaper and formula supplies while child is in care
- Opportunity to participate in Early Head Start Policy Council
- Two annual home visits with Early Head Start and childcare staff and two annual parent teacher conferences
- Regular home visits with Early Head Start support staff to assist with developing family goals and activities and connect with other community professionals
- Learning opportunities pertaining to child development, health, nutrition, mental health and family
- Leadership opportunities
Services and benefits to child care providers:
- Guarantee of Early Head Start slot until the child’s third birthday, regardless of Best Beginnings scholarship status, once enrolled in Early Head Start and the childcare.
- Child care slots agreed upon, are paid for once a memorandum of understanding is signed by both parties and the children are enrolled by Early Head Start staff and enrolled in the child care facility.
- Training and coaching for practitioners on the implementation of Creative Curriculum
- Training and coaching for practitioners on social emotional development of children, based on the Pyramid model
- Assistance helping childcare staff grow professionally
- Early Head Start support staff available to provide family support and intervention, assistance with health issues, challenging behaviors, attendance and nutrition consultation
- Transition planning for individual child