Contact Us

Department of Public Health and Human Services
Early Childhood and Family Support Division
Early Childhood Services Bureau

PO Box 4210
Helena, MT 59601

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

Main line: 444-1958

The Mission of the Early Childhood Services Bureau is to improve the quality, affordability and accessibility of early care and education in Montana, with focused efforts on coordinated systems to best meet the needs of young children, their families, and the professionals who work on behalf of young children and families.


Staff Contact Information

Patty Butler, ECSB Bureau Chief

Brooke Pickett, CACFP Program Manager

Jody Lehman, CCDF Program Manager

Sally Tilleman, Early Learning and School Readiness Manager

STARS to Quality

The 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.

STARS to Quality Staff

Shandi Hayes, Specialist

Vacant, Specialist

Jill Christensen, Early Education and Coaching Specialist

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

Janene Shepherd, Program Specialist
Kelly Little, Program Specialist
Pam Barragato, Program Specialist

Child Care Licensing

The role of the Child Care Licensing Program is to regulate and monitor child care facilities. Additionally, the Program establishes guidelines for the health, safety and well-being of the children in these facilities. Surveys are conducted annually and all complaints are investigated.

Child Care Licensing Staff

List of Child Care Licensing Staff

Child Care Policy Unit - Best Beginnings

Child Care Policy Unit Staff

Sarah Adams, CCDF Project Specialist
Allison Drake, Compliance Reviewer
Chauntel Lucier, Child Care Resource & Referral Program Specialist
Melody Olson, Management Analyst
Darla Dexter, Best Beginnings Specialist

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 Milestones Part C 

Montana Milestones/Part C of the IDEA Early Intervention Program is Montana’s comprehensive system of early intervention services and supports for families who have infants or toddlers, from birth through three who have significant developmental delays or disabilities or have been diagnosed with an established condition associated with significant delays in development.

Montana Milestones Part C Staff

Wendy Studt, Part C 
Sandy Cade, Early Intervention Program Specialist