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Flathead Valley Childhood & Family Advisory Council. Introductions. Brittany MacLean, Coordinator MS in Nonprofit Management & Urban Policy Background in Community Building & Project Management Mother of 4 Deep belief in the health of our children directly relating to the health of our world.

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Brittany MacLean, Coordinator

MS in Nonprofit Management & Urban Policy

Background in Community Building & Project Management

Mother of 4

Deep belief in the health of our children directly relating to the health of our world

your gifts insights
Your Gifts & Insights

Please choose a picture

Think about how it might be a metaphor for the approach, or gifts, you bring to your work with children, family, or the community

My name is ________. I represent (agency or recent work.) I chose the __________ because like the ____________, I bring ___________ to my work with children & families.

background of state advisory council
Background of StateAdvisory Council

The Montana Governor’s office was the applicant for funding dedicated by the federal Office of Head Start

Governor’s office received funding & the Early Childhood Services Bureau was designated as the lead agency

$664,000 was received by the state for council work & guidance/collaboration on 5 additional federal grant programs

principle objectives of this new best beginnings advisory council
Principle Objectives of this new “Best Beginnings” Advisory Council

Provide high quality Early Childhood & Family Support programs

Provide a comprehensive approach to addressing the social, emotional, physical and mental health of children and familiesin Montana.

Form and support Community Councils throughout Montana

six montana community councils funded
Six Montana Community Councils Funded

Eastern Montana Community Councils (Glendive, Sidney & Miles City)

Missoula Best Beginnings Council

Ravalli County Community Council

Early Childhood Coalition of the Greater Helena Area

Greater Gallatin School Readiness Team

Flathead Valley Early Childhood & Family Advisory Council


20-30 years of pioneer leaders – both people and organizations – striving to bring attention and resources to the health of children & families, especially ages 0-5

The newly established Council to the Governor & our Flathead Valley Early Childhood Council represents an exciting culmination and achievement

our council
Our Council

Appointed members

Steering Committee has met to provide overall guidance & structure

Decisions & Recommendations will be taken directly to the Governor’s Advisory Council

Decisions & Recommendations will be made using the Consensus Model (more info to follow at subsequent meetings)

Important to maintain attendance at council meetings

Ad hoc members may be added to committee

Meetings will always include a public comment section of the agenda

original conception and grant application
Original conception and grant application

Initial meeting was coordinated by The Nurturing Center and United Way

About 30 organizations were represented and agreed that we need better collaboration in our community

The Nurturing Center was chosen as fiscal agent and asked to apply for grant on behalf of council

Grant was awarded making our Council one of the 7 Best Beginning Councils in Montana working directly with the Governor’s Best Beginnings Council.

We were originally funded for a half time coordinator


To effectively identify -- and offer recommendations for addressing -- the root issues effecting families & young children in the Flathead Valley

To create a collaborative comprehensive system of care for families, especially with children ages 0-5

To make certain the work of the Council is not short lived or project driven


To make certain families with young children are supported in their communities

To provide children with access to high quality Early Childhood programs, a medical home, and medical insurance

To support the social, emotional, and mental health needs of young children and families

areas of focus
Areas of Focus

Please share, from your perspective, what you feel has had the largest impact on the lives of young children, ages 0-5, and their families during the past 5-10 years.

who are we missing
Who are we missing?

What additional members do we need to appoint?

Confirmed, but unable to attend this meeting:

Superintendent Whitefish Schools

County Superintendent

President FAEYC

3 additional child care providers

Director Childshare of Montana

outcomes requirements
Outcomes & Requirements

Complete accurate and thorough Needs Assessment (standardized documentation of trends, issues and data)

Use Needs Assessment to back up initial Council recommendations & make new ones

Identify gaps in services to families & children

Complete a Strategic Plan detailing findings, tasks & outcomes

additional funding for council
Additional Funding for Council

Bureau of Public Health and Bureau of Early Childhood Services completed a secondary grant for funding local community councils

Local Councils are eligible for up to $100,000 to support infrastructure work in the community

The funds will be primarily used for funding coordinators, administrative support and completing a comprehensive needs assessment.

stay creative inspired
Stay Creative & Inspired

Know that in the midst of jargon, data, committees and tasks we WILL BRING POSITIVE CHANGE

We carry the work of many visionaries before us. Children, mothers, fathers, and our entire community depend on our focus and on our vision

Be the change you see; & Never lose faith

next meeting
Next Meeting

I will be sending date choices for February

Happy Holidays!