Overall Policy Lever Score


Child care licensing minimally requires that directors have three years of experience in the field and 15 clock hours of training annually. The Montana Early Childhood Program Director Credential is a three-tiered credential with a minimum requirement of a CDA plus 20 semester hours of early childhood education credit, 45 clock hours of approved program management training and two years of experience working in an early childhood program; one year must be in program management. Elementary principals are required to have a master’s degree with pre-K content but not pre-K experience.  At the highest level, the state-wide QRIS requires directors to have a minimum of an associate degree plus 20 semester hours in early childhood education.  Administrators in state pre-K programs are required to have a principal license and a master’s degree. There are no early childhood leadership degree programs or leadership academies in Montana.


The interactive map at the right shows the density of child care directors by county (2012 Workforce Dataset: A Review of Workforce Trends, National Workforce Registry Alliance).


Interesting Facts: Montana

  • As the 4th largest state in the nation, there is one child care director or family child care provider for every 171 square miles in Montana.

  • There are 655 family child care providers in the state (Child Care Aware of America, 2016).

  • The average salary of a child care director in Montana is $40,980.