When you become a parent, you enter a world of new experiences. From developmental stages to many firsts, there’s a lot to learn. Fortunately, many resources exist for parents and parents-to-be here in Southwest Montana. Whether you’re planning for when your child is born or looking for affordable prenatal care and support as you navigate becoming a parent, here are some resources to help.
Parenting Montana is a resource provided by various divisions of the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services in collaboration with the Center for Health and Safety Culture at MSU. On the website, you can learn about communication and other parenting topics for your children from birth.
Free prenatal and parenting classes through the health department are a virtual video resource that you can watch any time online, so there’s no need to find extra time in your schedule for a class. Learn more about breastfeeding basics, labor and delivery, and newborn care, all for free.
If you’re unsure where to start in your parenting journey, Roots Family Collaborative, located in Bozeman, can connect you to resources like support groups, classes and workshops, and special events to get you involved with professionals and other parents to help you along the way.
Child Care Connections is a local nonprofit serving Gallatin County that offers services for providers and families to cover gaps in childcare. Finding childcare to support your ability to work and thrive for your family can be difficult, especially at an affordable cost. Child Care Connections offers scholarships and other financial support opportunities, as well as a network of childcare providers to help you find good people to help care for your kids.
Early childhood services for children aged 0 to 8 from Aware Inc. are available to all families, regardless of social or economic status. And families that are expecting can benefit from the services as well. Center-based services provide education, health care, behavioral health, and nutrition services. Visit them at the Center for Early Childhood in Belgrade.
Beginning with prenatal care, all the way up to five years old, Healthy Gallatin Home Visits provide support for parents and parents-to-be. Nurses, certified lactation consultants, social workers, and father engagement specialists can come to your home to answer parenting questions and offer guidance where you need it.
The Parent Liaisons program through Community Health Partners offers free support to Livingston parents with a child in Winans, East Side, SGMS & PHS schools. Though this age might feel far off when you’re expecting your baby, being prepared for what’s to come is an important part of being a parent.
For parents with a 0- to 5-year-old living in Park County or West Yellowstone (or parents-to-be planning ahead), the Parents as Teachers program includes home visits to track key milestones with your child. During the free visit, the home visitor will guide you through an activity on the floor with your child and give you a free, age-appropriate book for your little one.
Looking after your health as a parent-to-be is essential to protecting your child’s health now and after birth. Prenatal care from Community Health Partners is available to all in the community, with sliding-scale payment options and other resources to make healthcare affordable. Contact your neighborhood clinic in Bozeman, Belgrade, or Livingston for more information on prenatal services in the community.