“Carrie Spotted Bear, Zero to Five Montana’s Early Childhood Tribal Policy Coordinator, talked about the legislative bills that passed that are helpful for implementing language into the classrooms.
Several initiatives are underway to strengthen early childhood education and support tribal communities in Montana. Efforts are being made to align licensing for childcare between state and tribal reservations, allowing tribes to tap into incentives and improve access to quality early childhood programs. A tribal coalition is being formed, funded through recent grants, to advocate for tribes at the state and federal levels and address critical issues within the state. This coalition will convene regularly to set goals and priorities.
The policy team at Zero to 5, consisting of 5 members, has been actively involved in tribal politics and advocating for early childhood-related bills. House Bill 352, known as the early literacy bill, recently passed in Montana. School districts now have the option to implement literacy-based programs, such as home-based, jump start, or classroom-based programs. This legislation will greatly benefit tribal communities, and districts are encouraged to consider utilizing special circumstance funding and voice their support for these programs.”