MTPR

preschool

Can Do: How MyVillage Is Working To Remake Childcare

Sep 6, 2019
In 2017, two mothers from Montana launched MyVillage, a platform that connects parents with trained, licensed daycare providers.
Screen capture from myvillage.com, Sept. 6, 2019.

According to the Center for American Progress, 51% of Americans live in a daycare desert; a place with almost no openings for infants or toddlers in nearby licensed preschools. Those lucky enough to find openings often spend more on childcare than they can afford, and many educators can’t earn enough as preschool teachers to make ends meet.

The House chamber at the Montana Legislature.
Nick Mott / Montana Public Radio

The Montana Legislature adjourned Thursday, sending a $10 billion state budget to Gov. Steve Bullock’s desk. Republican and Democratic leaders say their parties each picked up political wins and loses.

The two Republican Majority leaders in the House and Senate struck different tones in their final messages of the 2019 legislative session.

Montana remains among only a few states in the country without publicly funded pre-K.
iStock


A Montana legislative committee rejected efforts to include funding for preschool in the state budget over the next two years. That, and another vote, effectively ended the state's preschool pilot program that lawmakers passed in 2017.

It's been a busy week at the Montana Legislature. Medicaid expansion and a bill to help NorthWestern Energy acquire more coal are still alive; A bill to fund preschool education is killed; And a bill to help find missing and murdered Native American women is passed, then killed, then revived. Learn more now on Capitol Talk with Sally Mauk, Rob Saldin and Holly Michels.

Montana Legislature House chamber.
Nick Mott / Montana Public Radio

A state-funded preschool program has been rejected by Montana lawmakers. The state remains among only a few in the country without publicly funded pre-K.

House Bill 755 was tabled on a 9-8 vote hours after its first hearing, Wednesday.

Montana remains among only a few states in the country without publicly funded pre-K.
iStock

A state-funded preschool program is on a fast track in the state Legislature. The policy introduced today is starting to reveal a rare clash between the state’s largest union and Gov. Steve Bullock.

The policy outlining voluntary preschool and the creation of a new state department of early childhood is carried by Rep. Eric Moore, a Republican from the Miles City area.

Montana Capitol building.
Nick Mott / MTPR

Gov. Steve Bullock’s request for more than $20 million for preschool funding is not included in the legislature’s initial draft of public education funding. 

The Legislative Subcommittee on Education finished its work Tuesday outlining money for public schools for the next two years.

Gov. Steve Bullock.
Corin Cates-Carney / MTPR

Publicly funded preschool is again up for debate in the state Legislature. Gov. Steve Bullock is pushing for more than $20 million to fund optional public pre-k for 4-year-olds. Bullock is also asking for $8 million to pay for preschool for Head Start programs and private providers.

This is the last chance for Bullock to pass one of the top priorities of his administration before he terms out of office in 2020.

Girl doing homework using a tablet. Stock photo.
Stock photo. / iStock

UPSTART from the Utah-based nonprofit Waterford Institute is a computer program that guides students through academic lessons using digital books, songs and games.

Though UPSTART is meant to be fun, Waterford’s Isaac Troyo says there’s substance behind the cartoon characters and flashy animations.

The big state budget bill landed on Governor Steve Bullock’s desk Monday, one of the final acts of the 2017 legislative session, which was gaveled to a close Friday.

MTPR’s Capitol Reporter Corin Cates-Carney joins us for a look at what Montana lawmakers did and didn’t accomplish since convening in January.

Pages