The Butte 4-C’s offers a child care referral program for families seeking a child care provider. Referrals are provided in-person in our office, by phone, fax, email, or online. Parents fill out a Child Care Need Form and submit it to the Referral Specialist at the Butte 4-C’s. Child Care Need Forms are available in our office, for printing here or online here.
Butte 4-C’s respects families and the choices they make for their children. We listen to families and consider their values and culture when linking them to resources that might be helpful. We support and encourage families as they make connections in the community regarding child care and other family needs. We take the time to understand each family’s situation and assist them in finding the best resources possible to support them.
Information on the child care providers you receive is a referral and does not imply an endorsement for a particular child care provider or facility. It is your responsibility to screen and evaluate the child care providers on your list, and make your decision based on those findings.
Individuals providing child care in the State of Montana must be registered or licensed if they are caring for more than two children. There are four different registrations/licenses for child care facilities:
- Registered Family Child Care Homes – one child care provider may care for up to six children
- Registered Group Child Care Homes – two child care providers may care for up to 12 children
- Licensed Centers – provides child care to over 13 children meeting the established ratio of provider to children
- Family Friend and Neighbor Care – may care for two children from separate families OR all of the children from one family
Choosing a child care provider for your child is one of the most important decisions families make. The first five years are a critical time of growth and development and families are children’s first and most important teachers. High quality early childhood care and education gives children the experiences they need to enter school ready to succeed while providing parents the opportunity to work and support their families.
Steps to Choosing Quality Child Care:
Start Early! Finding the best child care for your family takes time. There are many types of child care programs to meet the diverse needs of families such as Center, Family, Group, After School, Preschool, Drop-in, and Family/Friend/Neighbor Care.
When considering your child care options, look for child care programs with the following qualifications:
Quality Rating Improvement System
The Best Beginnings STARS to Quality Program is a voluntary quality rating improvement system that aligns quality indicators with support and incentives for early childhood programs and professionals.
NAEYC – National Association for the Education of Young Children
NAFCC – National Association for Family Child Care
Training and Education
Health and Safety: Current CPR and First Aid certifications, Emergency Preparedness Plan, Safe Sleep Training, Medication Administration Training, Child and Adult Care Food Program
Child Development: Infant/Toddler and Preschool Certifications, Child Development Associate Credential, Associate or Bachelor Degree in Early Childhood Education
Common Child Care Business Practices
Provider Rates: Providers are a private business who set their own rates which may be hourly, daily, weekly or monthly.
Full or Part Time Slots: Providers may require you to pay a full-time fee if your child attends part-time or some may have another child to fill the other part-time hours.
Authorized Child Pick-up List: For your child’s safety, providers may only release a child to an approved list submitted by a parent or guardian.
Late Fees: Providers may charge late fees for late child pick-ups or overdue bills.
Two Week Notice: Providers may require a two week notice of a child’s last day of attendance.
Sick Child Policy: State policy mandates that an ill child with fever, diarrhea, vomiting, etc. may not attend a child care for health and safety of other children and staff.
Common Child Care Program Policies
Background Checks and Continuing Education for all staff
Parent Contract outlining policies, procedures, schedules, payment, illnesses, discipline, etc.
Open Door Policy: Parents are welcome to visit at any time to check on their child.
Licensing and Registration Requirements
Center, Group, Family, and Family/Friend/Neighbor Care are required to be licensed, registered or certified.
Provider to Child Ratio
Center: 13 or more children with ratios based on the ages of the children
Group: Two adults care for 7-12 children with a limit of 6 under 2 years
Family: Up to 6 children with no more than 3 children under 2 years
Family/Friend/Neighbor: All of the children from one family or up to 2 unrelated children
All registered and licensed child care providers may choose to participate in the referral program. An initial Provider Information Form is filled out and submitted to the Butte 4-C’s. We create a provider profile in the referral database and contact the provider for updates on child care openings each month. This ensures that referrals going out to families have the most current and accurate information about the child care programs.
If you are a registered or licensed child care provider and would like to participate in the child care referral program please contact the Butte 4-C’s or click on the link for the Provider Information Form to fill out and submit it to the Butte 4-C’s.