For Providers

Child Care Resources, a child care resource and referral partner in Missoula, hosts Montana's online training and professional development system. Here you'll find online courses, already approved for professional development hours, ready when you are. Visit the training site at

Early Childhood Services Bureau of the State of Montana is field-testing STARS to Quality, a voluntary, training-, assessment-, and coaching-based quality improvement system. STARS includes workforce development, a quality improvement system, and infrastructure to provide coaching, technical assistance, training, and to validate the program.

All child care provider training and professional development must be approved by the
Montana Early Childhood Project. Visit their website to apply or renew your Practitioner Registry, for a statewide calendar of events, a copy of your professional development record, incentive awards, scholarships, and more!

Montana's child care system recognizes four types of child care, and requires that anyone caring for 3 or more unrelated children on a regular basis become registered by the state.

  • A Family Child Care Home has one child care provider with a total of six children, three of whom can be under the age of two.
  • A Group Child Care has two child care providers with a total of twelve children, six of whom can be under the age of two.
  • A Child Care Center has 13 or more children depending on facility size, with child-to-adult ratios varying on age of children.
  • A Legally Certified Provider is a family member or friend who cares for ONLY two children, OR siblings, for state payment purposes. Care may be provided in the child's home in certain circumstances.