With the classes for language, culture and younger children facing high demand, the Blackfeet Nation is looking to grow the reservation's Head Start and Early Head Start programs.
The current programs serve roughly 400 kids, and on Wednesday, the Nation received the federal grant funds needed to maintain those services. But that almost $4 million isn’t enough to serve everyone in need of the program’s services.
Mennetta Armstrong oversees the Blackfeet Early Childhood Center, which houses Head Start.
“We cover educational, we cover social services, we cover disabilities, we cover nutrition," she said.
Armstrong said the Early Head Start program, which serves children ages zero to three, always has a waiting list.
"Our program, we work with the low-income families, homeless, single-parents, disabilities," she said. "They’re the majority that comes in first.”
The tribe has applied for several competitive grants to expand that piece of the program and its language and cultural components, according to Armstrong. That includes trainings for parents so they can continue education at home.
She said they will find out whether that funding will come through later this year.