Early Childhood Coalition of the Greater Helena Area Receives Grant

May 2, 2023

early childhood grant
From left to right: Maureen Bjerke, St. Peter’s Health; Brandi Thomas, Child Care Connections; A.C. Rothenbuecher, Lewis & Clark Public Health; Bray Holmes, St. Peter’s Health

The Early Childhood Coalition (ECC) of the Greater Helena Area announced receiving a Zero to Five grant from the Headwaters Foundation for $200,000.

“We are thrilled to receive this significant grant,” said Maureen Bjerke, Zero to Five Community Coordinator from St. Peter’s Health. “This funding will allow us to bring together several community stakeholders to support children and families in the greater Helena area through capacity-building efforts, ensuring children have the opportunity to access tools and resources for building a solid foundation in the early years so they can thrive in school."

The Early Childhood Coalition of the Greater Helena Area promotes community collaboration to network resources and streamline services supporting the health, safety, care, and education of children from prenatal through eight years of age, along with support for their families. Together, ECC and Zero to Five collaborate to assess the community's immediate needs and create lasting change in the early childhood work of this community.

Member organizations include Helena School District, Rocky Head Start, Helena Area Chamber of Commerce, Child Care Connections, Family Outreach, St. Peter’s Health and Lewis and Clark Public Health. 

“Early childhood work is critical to the success of our community and vital to the infrastructure of all other businesses,” said Brandi Thomas, Provider Services Supervisor, from Child Care

Connections. “Without quality early childhood programs and support for this field, parents would not be able to work or go to school, families would not be as engaged in the community, and young children would not have the opportunities to learn and play safely in healthy environments.”  

The Early Childhood Coalition of the Greater Helena Area is housed within the St Peter’s Population Health Department. For more information or to get involved, email Maureen Bjerke, Zero to Five Community Coordinator, at MBjerke@sphealth.org.