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Instructions

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Welcome to the Best Beginnings online application. The Early Childhood Services Bureau offers Best Beginnings Child care Scholarships to qualified low-income families whose child receives care from a licensed child care center, registered group or family child care home, or legally certified child care provider. Co-payment requirements are based on household income. You may use the co-payment calculator to determine if you may be eligible for this program and estimate what your monthly co-payment might be.

Best Beginnings allows you to:

  • Apply for Benefits - applicants are encouraged to complete and submit an application for the Best Beginnings Child Care Scholarship
  • Return to an Existing Application - applicants can save an incomplete application and return to that application within 60 days to complete and submit.

Submitting an Application

The Best Beginnings online application makes applying for a Best Beginnings Child care Scholarship simple and convenient. Applicants can apply at their convenience 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.

To begin a new application click on the "Apply - Submit an Application" option located on the home page of the service. A checklist appears which outlines the items that may be needed in order to complete an application. Applicants are encouraged to review this list before beginning their application to make sure they have information necessary to complete an application. Applicants can also utilize the "Save and Log Out" feature at any time in the application process. Please note, saved applications will be available for 60 days from the date the application was saved. After 60 days, if the application has not been submitted to the Department of Public Health and Human Services it will be deleted and the applicant will no longer be able to complete that saved application.

Okta

Best Beginnings utilizes Okta, Montana's single sign-on solution. Okta allows you to use one username and password to access many eGovernment services. If you have an existing Okta account you may use it to access the service. If you do not have an account you will need to create one.

Select the statement that best fits below for additional information on how to proceed:

I do not have an Okta Account
I have an Okta Account

Applying for Assistance

When applying for the Best Beginnings Child Care Scholarship, the applicant will be asked a series of questions about the household. Applicants should be as truthful as possible when answering questions so eligibility can be determined correctly and as quickly as possible.

If an applicant is unable to provide the information being requested then they may save their incomplete application, gather the required information, and return to it later. All previously completed sections will be saved and available for review upon return. An applicant is not able to proceed to subsequent sections of the application until the current section is successfully completed.

Submitting a Completed Application

Once an applicant has answered all questions and provided all relevant information their application is ready to be submitted to the Department of Public Health and Human Services. The applicant should follow the instructions provided on each page to submit their application.

Once an application has been submitted the applicant is encouraged to keep a copy of the application for their records. The applicant can print a copy of their application; save a copy to their computer, disk, or other electronic storage device; and/or email a copy of it to the email address of their choice.

NOTE: The applicant can only obtain a copy of their completed application immediately following submission. If the applicant does not use the print, save and/or email options at this time they cannot get a copy, later, through the Best Beginnings service.

Returning to a Previously Started Application

An applicant can save their application at any time and return to it later. To save an incomplete application, the applicant can use the "Save and Log Out" button found on each page of the application to save information already entered.

To return to a previously saved application click on the "My Account - Return to an Application I previously started" option located on the home page of the Best Beginnings service and log into Okta with the account that was logged into when the application was started.

NOTE: Incomplete applications are deleted after 60 days of inactivity and cannot be retrieved.

Obtaining a Copy of a Completed Application

Applicants are encouraged to get a copy of their completed application immediately following submission to the Department of Public Health and Human Services. The applicant has the option to print a copy of their application; save a copy to their computer, disk, or other electronic storage device; and/or email a copy of it to the email address of their choice.

NOTE: An applicant can only get a copy of their completed application immediately following submission of their application. If the applicant does not use the print, save and/or email options at this time they cannot get a copy, at a later date, through the Best Beginnings service.

Contact Us

If you have questions or need assistance completing your application, you should contact your local Child Care Resource and Referral Agency. See a complete list of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies in Montana to ask about your application or if you need assistance in completing your application.

If you have technical difficulties with the website please feel free to contact us via email.

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