Ravalli County's Head Start program has picked up another $300,000 in federal funding, according to Montana Senator Jon Tester. The grant from the American Rescue Plan will help support in-person services of all kinds this fall.

Tester announced the grant, along with others for 20 other Head Start programs across Montana - from Browning, Columbia Falls and Eureka to Glendive, Helena and Billings. The largest amounts were about a half-million dollars to programs in Billings, Great Falls and Browning. Ravalli County's award was $300,322. The local program had earlier received over $3 million, along with $4 million for Billings and Butte.

The Head Start program offers preschool and infant care for parents in need of daycare, along with information and education programs for young families and school readiness programs to help kids get ready for kindergarten. The program also offers Ravalli Early Head Start with Home-based, Center-based and Pre Natal services at 363-7412.

Tester, a former elementary teacher, said in a news release, "Montana Head Start programs are critical to helping ensure our kids are all on even footing, and that everyone in our state has an equal opportunity to thrive. These American Rescue Plan funds will go far to make sure Montana kids and their families will have the resources they need to succeed well into the future." The long-established Ravalli County program is located in Hamilton on Kurtz Lane, across the street from Hamilton High School and next door to the Bitterroot Aquatic Center.

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