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Early Childhood


AWARE offers early childhood services to families and prenatal children through age eight. These services are available to families of all socio-economic status. Children with disabilities are welcome. Programs include Early Head Start, Child & Family Counseling, and Home Visiting. These programs are offered in many cities across Montana.

Child & Family Counseling Services
Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) 
PCIT is an evidence-based, family-oriented intervention designed to help improve the parent-child relationship through interaction. PCIT emphasizes improving the quality of the parent-child relationship and changing parent-child patterns.  During sessions with a PCIT therapist, both the parent/caregiver and child are seen together. Therapists coach the parent from an observation room using either a camera or a one-way mirror and a hidden earpiece for communicating to the parent during the play.

PCIT is effective for children who are at risk, who have experienced trauma, and who have behavioral challenges. This modality has also been proven to support children in foster care transition and maintain their placement, in turn increasing positive experience and coping.

“My family and I have tried a lot of services, including home based and therapy but it never seemed to work for us. We now have AWARE and PCIT therapy in our life, and I know what to do and feel confident as a parent.”
– Parent

For more information, email is at:


Early Head Start Programs
Center-based services

AWARE Early Head Start is a federally funded, comprehensive child development program for low-income children and their families.

AWARE Early Head Start provides children, including those with special needs, with services that actively encourage and promote social, emotional, physical growth and development, and cognitive skills. Learning is designed to reinforce and respond to the unique strengths and needs of each child, and children of all abilities are welcome.

By focusing on evidence-based and current best practices, Early Head Start improves children’s’ lives by providing family-focused child development and school readiness services, including health, behavioral health, education, and nutrition. Early Head Start receives The Child and Adult Care Food Program reimbursement. Nutritious meals are provided when the child attends the center-based option.

Parent involvement is one of the cornerstones of Early Head Start and is key to the quality services we provide. Parents have many and varied options to participate in their child’s education and development. Families are further supported by social services, behavioral health, and disabilities services.

We serve pregnant women, children ages birth to three, and their families. There is no cost to families enrolled in Early Head Start. Program participants must meet Federal Poverty Guidelines

Early Head Start center-based services are offered in Butte, Helena, Bozeman, and Billings.

“Before my son and I had AWARE early childhood services in our lives, we were lost. Now we have a super support system that I wouldn’t trade for the world. AWARE has put happiness back in to parenting.” – Parent



Child Care Partnerships​

AWARE’s Early Head Start Child Care Partnership program works with local child care agencies in Billings, Belgrade, Bozeman, Butte, East Helena, and Helena to provide Early Head Start services. AWARE contracts with these local child care facilities to reserve Early Head Start slots in their centers. AWARE serves 80 children and families through the Child Care Partnership program grant. Families must be eligible for state child care subsidies and meet the same income guidelines for all Early Head Start families.

The purpose of Early Head Start Child Care Partnership is to:

  • Increase the quality and capacity of child care through partnerships with community child care providers

  • Provide continuity of care for children birth to age three

  • Offer comprehensive family services, recognizing the parent as the child’s first teacher

  • Support positive child development for children from low-income families

Services and benefits to families:

  • Consistency in child care regardless of change in socioeconomic status

  • Diaper and formula supplies while child is in care

  • Opportunity to participate in Early Head Start Policy Council

  • Two annual home visits with Early Head Start and child care staff and two annual parent teacher conferences

  • Regular home visits with Early Head Start support staff to assist with developing family goals and activities and connect with other community professionals

  • Learning opportunities pertaining to child development, health, nutrition, behavioral health and family

  • Leadership opportunities

  • Behavioral health consultation with a licensed therapist to support children in their social and emotional growth

Services and benefits to child care providers:

  • Guarantee of Early Head Start slot until the child’s third birthday, once enrolled in Early Head Start and the child care.

  • Child care slots agreed upon, are paid for once a memorandum of understanding is signed by both parties and the children are enrolled by Early Head Start staff and enrolled in the child care facility.

  • Training and coaching for practitioners on the implementation of Creative Curriculum

  • Training and coaching for practitioners on social emotional development of children, based on the Pyramid model

  • Assistance helping child care staff grow professionally

  • Early Head Start support staff available to provide family support and intervention, assistance with health issues, challenging behaviors, attendance and nutrition consultation

  • Transition planning for individual child

For more information, email is at:


Home Visiting

Parents as Teachers -or- SafeCare®

AWARE’s home visiting program is for expectant parents, parents with infants, and young children until they enter kindergarten. Support is most often provided in your home.

By inviting a home visitor into your life, you welcome a caring individual who will help discover your strengths as a parent. You’ll learn tips and practical skills to create a strong foundation for your entire family.

Home visitors may address topics such as

  • Healthy pregnancy outcomes

  • Strong parent-child relationships

  • Resilient parenting practices

  • Child health and development

  • Safe home environments

  • Resource connections

  • Support with referral access

  • School readiness

Currently, home visits are provided in Butte-Silver Bow, Helena-Lewis and Clark, and Whitehall-Jefferson counties as well as surrounding areas. Everyone qualifies for home visiting.

AWARE offers two home visiting models: Parents as Teachers and SafeCare®. Your home visitor will choose the best model for your family based on interest and/or needs.

  1. Parents as Teachers pairs parents/caregivers with trained professionals who make regular personal home visits during a child’s earliest years in life, prenatal through kindergarten. The program promotes best practices for early development, learning, and health.

  2. SafeCare® is a research-based parenting program for families with children ages 0 to 5. It addresses three areas: the parent-child relationship, home safety, and child health. This program is available in Helena only.

“I am a single mom and I have struggled with my children’s negative behaviors for years often blaming myself for it. Now that AWARE has provided me with support, resources, and therapy, I feel good in my parenting role. I know I can provide the support needed for my kids to boost their self-esteem and give them good skills for life. I absolutely love that my therapist can come to my home.” – Parent

For more information contact:

Charity Breeton 

Early Childhood Services Home Visiting Supervisor


406.782.0455 or 406.560.0727