Montana's child care system recognizes four types of child care, and requires that anyone caring for more than 2 unrelated children on a regular basis become registered by the state.
First and foremost, your child care business is just that — a business — and should operate as such. For specific advice, contact the Montana Small Business Development Network, Montana Women’s Business Center, or local R&R agency.
Economic Development Associations specific to your location will also be helpful!
Check out Grow Great Falls for more great resources to start your business.
All businesses in Montana are REQUIRED to register with the Montana Secretary of State’s Office.
you will need to apply for federal and state tax identification numbers. You can do this at www.irs.gov.
You will also need to register your business with the Montana Department of Revenue and, if you have staff, register for Unemployment Insurance and workers compensation insurance, which you can obtain through your own insurance carrier or through Montana Statefund
Tom Copeland is a home child care business expert and we recommend checking out his website
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.
On the Montana Child Care Licensing website, you will find the application, forms, and templates to simplify the process.
Ensure you are in compliance with Child Care Licensing Rules and Regulations. Both to get started, and ongoing as a provider.
Owning a small business brings many responsibilities. Anyone who works for you will be considered your employee you will need an understanding and willingness to comply with various federal and state labor and employment laws.
The most accurate and up-to-date information regarding relevant labor laws can be found here:
For additional information on employment taxes for small businesses, refer to this IRS help page.
ChildCareTraining.org is Montana's Distance Learning provider. Here you'll find online courses to meet child care licensing and STARS requirements, as well as, other professional development needs 24/7.
STARS to Quality is Montana's quality rating 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, and a copy of your professional development record!
Your local R&R is your child care expert. They will assist you from the very beginning and throughout the life of your child care business experience. R&Rs can offer:
- Computer access and online training support.
- Help completing and submitting licensing forms.
- Access to grant funding.
- And so much more!
This resource is designed to give those interested in becoming a home child care provider, more information on how to get started, tools to strengthen business practices, and how to avoid common pitfalls. You'll find the tools referenced in this document here.
Information or links provided by Montana Child Care Resource and Referral Network do not constitute legal, accounting, tax or finance advice or any other professional services for individual readers. Readers seeking professional advice about specific aspects of their business should consult an attorney, accountant, or their local R&R.