Department of Public Health and Human Services

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Contact Us

Contact Us

Department of Public Health and Human Services - Early Childhood Services Bureau

111 N. Jackson
Arcade Building, 5th Floor
P.O. Box 202925
Helena, MT 59620-2925

Early Childhood Services Bureau: (406) 444-1788
Child Care Unit: (866) 239-0458
CACFP: (888) 307-9333

Staff Contact Information

Patty Butler, ECSB Bureau Chief

Jason Harlow, Budget Analyst

Sarah Adams, Office Support Specialist


Best Beginnings STARS to Quality

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 early childhood professionals.

Best Beginnings STARS to Quality Staff

Leslie Lee, Child Care Quality Program Manager
Rhonda Schwenke, Best Beginnings Program Officer
Vacant, Best Beginnings Program Officer


Child and Adult Care Food Program

The CACFP supports child care businesses by providing assistance with child nutrition, food service management, and reimbursement for meals served.

Child and Adult Care Food Program Staff

Mary Musil, Program Manager
Vacant, Administrative Assistant
Vicki Anfinson, Program Specialist
Vacant, Program Specialist


Child Care Policy Unit

Child Care Policy Unit Staff

Carrie Leu, Child Care Unit Manager
Allison Drake, Compliance Reviewer
Chauntel Lucier, Child Care Resource & Referral Program Specialist
Melody Olson, Management Analyst


Montana Head Start Collaboration Office

The Head Start Collaboration Office facilitates collaboration among Head Start agencies (including Early Head Start agencies) and entities that carry out activities designed to benefit low income children from birth to school entry, and their families.

Montana Head Start Collaboration Office Staff

Kathy Rich, Montana Head Start Collaboration Director


Montana Preschool Development Grant

The purpose of the Montana Preschool Development Grant is to build, develop, and expand high-quality preschool programs so that more children from low-and moderate-income families enter ready to succeed in kindergarten and in life. This grant is supported in partnership between MT Department of Public Health and Human Services and the MT Office of Public Instruction.

Montana Preschool Development Grant Staff

Sally Tilleman, Preschool Development Grant Coordinator
Sandy Cade, Regional Specialist
Deborah Richert, Regional Specialist
Markell Chandler, Regional Specialist
Sara Loewen, Regional Specialist
Brandi Loch, Regional Specialist


Systems Unit

  • The Montana Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems Grant is addressing the mitigation of toxic stress and trauma in infancy and early childhood. The key components of the grant include prevention, promotion, and intervention.
  • The Healthy Montana Teen Parent Program supports programs that work with pregnant and parenting teens by  supporting teen mothers and fathers and their children.
  • The purpose of Project LAUNCH (Linking Actions for Unmet Needs in Children’s Health) is to promote the wellness of young children ages birth to 8 by addressing the physical, social, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral aspects of their development.

Systems Unit Staff

A.C. Rothenbuecher, Early Childhood Systems Unit Manager
Vacant, Healthy MT Teen Parent Coordinator
Miranda Briggs, Montana Project LAUNCH Wellness Expert
Vacant, Montana Project LAUNCH Wellness Partner