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Preschool Matters

Ninety percent of brain development happens before a child is 5-years-old, that's one reason all Montana children should have access to free, high-quality preschool.

Thanks to a federal preschool development grant, Montana can now offer free, high-quality preschool to children in high-needs communities.

Data show that children who attend a high-quality preschool program are more likely to succeed in reading and math, graduate from high school, and even earn more money as adults.

Where is high-quality preschool available?
Free preschool is currently available in Anaconda, Bozeman, Browning, Crow, Fort Peck, Great Falls, Hardin, Helena, Lewistown, and Libby.

Download poverty guidelines.

Is my child eligible to attend?
If your family is at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty line, or are eligible for special education, your 4-year-old could qualify for attending preschool. For a family of four, 200 percent of the federal poverty level is an annual income of $60,625.

Connect with the preschool program coordinator in your community to sign up.

Anaconda Norah Barney
Gail Mickey
Bozeman Kathy Piatz 406.586.9652
Browning Neola Bear Medicine 406.338.7370
Crow Evelyn Roundstone 406.679.0729
Fort Peck Joyce Simmons
Viola Wood
Great Falls Patty Higgins 406.268.6400
Hardin Norma Granning
Leigh Ann Pallone
Helena Ashley Pena-Larson 406.457.7375
Lewistown Rose Smith 406.535.7751
Libby Toya Laveway 406.293.4502

Why is preschool important?
Children who attend preschool learn important skills like how to follow directions, how to get along with others, and how to pay attention. This will set your child up for success by the time he/she is ready for kindergarten.

Data show that…

  • Ninety percent of brain development happens before a child is 5-years-old.
  • Children who don't attend preschool are 25 percent more likely to drop out of high school.
  • The average cost of childcare for a Montana 4-year-old is more than $7,500, which can be a large chunk of your income.