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STARS Preschool

STARS PreschoolSTARS Preschool

Increasing access to high quality preschool for 4 and 5 year old children in Montana

What is STARS Preschool?

STARS Preschool supports programs serving 4 and 5 year old children in a preschool setting.

  • The funding is dedicated to increase access to preschool for 4 and 5 year olds
  • Programs will include multiple delivery models, including
    • Public programs;
    • Private programs; and
    • Mixed-delivery programs through public-private partnerships
  • Programs will be located both in rural and urban areas of Montana
  • Program standards will align with Best Beginnings STARS to Quality, Head Start, and Title 10 Chapter 63 public preschool program standards

Who is Eligible to Apply

All programs must meet applicable STARS preschool health and safety standards

  • Public Schools. Kindergarten I programs are ineligible. Existing preschool programs, including special education-funded programs and classrooms may be eligible, but funds cannot be used to supplant special education funding.
  • Any Best Beginnings STARS to Quality Program at 3 STARS or higher and with dedicated preschool classrooms or services for 4 year olds.  Program must maintain compliance with STARS level 3 or higher as well.  Child Care Programs who would like to apply for STARS Preschool and who are not currently enrolled in the Best Beginnings STARS to Quality Program, can demonstrate that they meet STAR 3 and lower criteria and enroll in Best Beginnings STARS to Quality simultaneously, but must follow rules of both programs.   
  • Head Start Programs (funds could be used to expand but cannot be used to supplant existing federal funding)
  • Private preschool providers and schools
  • Community Based programs
  • Military Programs
  • Tribal Programs / Classrooms
  • Montana Preschool Development Grant classrooms are ineligible

Pursuant to Article X of the Montana Constitution, sectarian (faith-based) programs are not eligible for funding.

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