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Early ChildhoodEarly Childhood

The early years of a child’s life-from birth to age eight-are critically important for learning and development. The Montana Office of Public Instruction, along with its partners, are committed to supporting Pre K -3 learning communities in providing our youngest learners a great start.

Please contact Terri Barclay or Tara Ferriter-Smith with any questions or concerns.


Honoring the Greatness in You
Montana Preschool Development Grant Montana Early Childhood Project
  Montana DPHHS Montana State Seal  

Guiding Documents

Montana Early Care and Education Knowledge Base

The Montana Early Care and Education Knowledge BaseThe Montana Early Care and Education Knowledge Base is the foundation of Montana’s career development system. While primarily focused on the competencies needed to effectively work with children birth to age 5, competencies often apply to teachers of children through age 8 and older.


2016 Preschool Guide


The Preschool Program Guidelines document provides information and tools to support programs in providing high-quality experiences for young children.




Montana Early Learning Standards

Montana Early Learning Standards 2014

The standards that guide the work of early childhood professionals to ensure that children from birth to age five have the skills and knowledge they need to achieve success in learning and reach their full potential in life.



Early Reading First

Early Reading First supports the development of early childhood centers of excellence that focus on all areas of development, especially on the early language, cognitive, and pre-reading skills that prepare children for continued school success and that serve primarily children from low-income families. The Office of Public Instruction received a $6 million "Early Reading First" grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Known as the Montana Partnership for Early Literacy (MTPEL), the project assists approximately 400 young children gain literacy skills at a young age.


Language for Learning...

Behavior Expectations
Language for Learning Kit Contents

Language for Learning...

Record Sheet/Program Assessment Data

Language for Learning...

Record Sheet/Program Assessment Data

Language for Learning...

Record Sheet/Program Assessment Data

OWL Resources

Unit 1: Family

Unit 1: Poems & Songs

Download Poems & Songs
Download Lyric Sheets


  • If You're Happy and You Know It
  • Eensy, Weensy Spider
  • Five Green and Speckled Frogs
  • Open, Shut Them
  • Down by the Bay
  • Old MacDonald Had a Farm
  • I'm a Little Teapot
  • Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes
  • Bingo
  • The Wheels on the Bus
  • Clap Your Hands
  • Five Little Ducks


  • Ten Little Fingers
  • Stand Up
  • Hands
  • Diddle, Diddle, Dumpling

Unit 1: Storybooks

Download Book List

  • I Love you Like Crazy Cakes: Lewis, Rose
  • Just Like Mama: Newman, Leslea
  • This Way Ruby!: Emmett, Jonathan
  • The Kissing Hand: Penn, Audrey
  • Babies in the Bayou: Arnosky, Jim
  • Time for Bed: Fox, Mem

Unit 2: Friends

Unit 2: Poems & Songs

Download Poems & Songs
Download Lyric Sheets

  • Come On and Join In to the Game
  • The More We Get Together
  • Six Little Ducks
  • Bingo
  • Story-Character Bingo
  • What Are You Wearing?
  • Five Juicy Apples
  • Five Little Owls in an Old Elm Tree
  • Three Little Monkeys
  • Mix a Pancake

Unit 2: Storybooks

Download Book List

  • Friends: Heine, Hleme
  • Matthew and Tilly
  • Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza
  • The Wheels on the Bus

Unit 3: Wind & Water

Unit 3: Poems & Songs

Download Poems & Songs
Download Lyric Sheets

  • Apples and Bananas
  • Shake My Sillies Ou
  • Looby Loo
  • Willoughby Wallaby Woo
  • Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
  • My Big Balloon
  • Boom! Bang!
  • Raindrops
  • Cloud

Unit 3: Storybooks

Download Book List

  • Feel the Wind: Doros, Arthur
  • The Wind Blew: Hutchins, Pat
  • Listen to the Wind: Mortenson, Greg
  • Like a Windy Day: Asch, Frank

Unit 4: The World of Color

Unit 4: Poems & Songs

Download Poems & Songs
Download Lyric Sheets

  • The Green Grass Grows All Around
  • Barnyard Song
  • The Snowman
  • The Little Turtle
  • Hands on Shoulders
  • Pease Porridge Hot

Unit 4: Storybooks

Download Book List

  • My Crayons Talk: Hubbard, Patricia
  • The Wheels on the Bus
  • My First Book of Colors: DK
  • Colors The Rainbow of the Natural World
  • A Color of his Own: Lionni, Leo

Unit 5: Shadows & Reflections

Unit 5: Poems & Songs

Download Poems & Songs
Download Lyric Sheets

  • Five Little Fishies
  • Windshield Wiper
  • The Little Turtle
  • Good Morning, Mrs. Hen
  • My Shadow

Unit 5: Storybooks

Download Book List

  • The Puddle Party
  • From Head to Toe: Carle, Eric
  • Moonbear's Shadow: Asch, Frank

Unit 6: Things that Grow

Unit 6: Poems & Songs

Download Poems & Songs
Download Lyric Sheets

  • Mary Had a Little Lamb
  • Hush Little Baby
  • Buttercups and Daisies
  • Five Eggs and Five Eggs
  • I Measure Myself
  • When I Was One

Unit 6: Storybooks

Download Book List

  • Our Tree Named Steve: Zweibel, Alan
  • Inch by Inch: Mallett, David
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar: Carle, Eric