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Missoula City-County Health Department
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Frequently Asked Questions: Childcare Facilities


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Q:  Who regulates childcares?

A:  Depending on the type of child care, the facility may be regulated by one entity or could be regulated by as many as four different entities. The number of departments that may be involved depends on the number of children a facility is licensed or registered for.  The Health Department only inspects centers with 13 or more children.  DPHHS-QAD handles all sizes of facilities.


Q:  How do I get licensed or registered?

A:  You can print an application package online at www.dphhs.mt.gov/earlychildhood, or you can contact Child Care Resources at (406) 728-6446 and they will mail you one.


Q:  Are drop-ins licensed or registered?

A:  Currently, no; however, Missoula City-County Health is currently working on a set of regulations for the Health Code. 


Q: Are afterschool programs licensed?

A:  Yes, because they offer continuous care, they are required to be licensed or registered with the State of Montana.


Q:  Do all children need to be immunized?

A:  Yes, Montana Law requires any child in a state licensed or registered facility to be fully immunized. The only exception to this rule is if an immunization is medically contraindicated.


Q:  I am concerned about the conditions of the facility my children attend.  Who do I contact?

A:  You can contact the Missoula Child Care Licensing Office at 329-1590 or 329-1589.


Q:  Where do I learn about sanitation and safety for my childcare facility?

A:  You can go to the health department's website and view our resources on safety and sanitation in childcare facilities.  There are PowerPoints as well as links and other helpful information.  If enough providers are interested, the health department will offer a class.  If a food safety is a concern, please see our food safety section of the website as well as see our upcoming class schedule.


Q:  What does the Health Department look for?

A:  The health department looks at food safety, general cleaning and sanitizing of surfaces, safe water and waste disposal, proper hand washing, laundry, immunizations, first aid supplies and certified staff, and overall facility safety. 


Have more questions?  Contact Us!


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