Our Mission and values
We support member organizations, advance the early childhood profession, and improve the quality, affordability, and accessibility of child care.
To us, leadership means amplifying voices that are not always heard. It means acknowledging and working to dismantle power dynamics. It means bringing people together. It means being vulnerable and transparent as we work with others and support our communities. It means follow through. It means grit. Raise Montana is committed to demonstrating leadership that encompasses efficiency and stability.
To us, innovation requires listening to and valuing the lived experiences of those we serve. It means being willing to make mistakes and fail. It means not only being responsive to, but celebrating feedback. Innovation requires vulnerability as well as maintaining groundedness. Raise Montana is committed to demonstrating innovation through continuing our own learning, resourcefulness and adaptability.
To us, inclusive collaboration means practicing meaningful engagement with everyone we serve and with partners. It means we listen to learn. It means creating spaces for ideas to be shared. It means recognizing that not all perspectives have been historically or are currently recognized and working to actively dismantle those barriers and systems. Raise Montana is committed to demonstrating inclusive collaboration.
To us, authenticity means being transparent in our actions and decisions. It means acting according to our values and our mission. It means providing clear expectations and information. It means being honest about our capacity and our outcomes. Raise Montana is committed to demonstrating authenticity with as much transparency as is feasible.
WHAT WE DO & WHO WE SERVE
We provide resources and coordination support to regional Child Care Resource and Referral agencies.
We initiate projects to build child care supply and quality in urban and rural areas such as Montana Shared Services and the Substitute Service.
We educate policy makers, businesses, and the public on child care issues.
We advocate for child care professionals and families.
Meet our team
Meghan has been the Director of Raise Montana since 2019.
Meghan earned her undergraduate and graduate degree in the field of social work in her home state of North Carolina.
Meghan believes every child and family deserve love, care, and access to a successful future. Access to a successful future begins with quality early care and education.
In her off time, Meghan enjoys baking, reading, and hiking with her dog, Moose.
Suzy joined Raise Montana in 2020 as the Shared Services Coordinator.
Suzy earned her undergraduate degrees in English and Social Work and her graduate degree in Social Work in her hometown of Missoula.
Suzy is dedicated to creating sustainable systems to better support child care providers and the families they serve.
Suzy is a nerd at heart and loves hiking, fussing over houseplants and spending time with her wife, Kelsey and dog, Keena.
Valayna joined Raise Montana in 2022 as a University of Montana intern focused on increasing the accessibility of trauma-informed approaches in Early Childhood.
Valayna was born and raised in Missoula, Montana. She is currently working towards her undergraduate degree in Neurology and plans to attend med school afterwards. She is a member of the Franke Global Leadership Initiative with a focus on public health. She believes that creating a healthier community starts with helping children and families.
Valayna spends her free time reading, knitting and going on adventures with her cats, Binx and Jinx.
Melissa started with Raise Montana in 2022 as the Substitute Service Specialist.
She grew up in Montana and graduated from the University of Montana with a degree in Communication Studies.
Melissa understands the importance of having quality child care available; not only does it impact families, but the entire community as well.
In her off time, you can find Melissa hanging out with her husband and three kids at the Farmers Market or playing card games. She especially enjoys cribbage and SkipBo.
Meghan first began working with Raise Montana in 2021 as a contractor writing blog posts, curriculum, and other resources for providers. She recently joined the team officially as a Project Specialist and assists with many behind the scenes tasks as well as hosting the seasonal book clubs.
Meghan has worked with young children for roughly ten years. She holds both a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Early Childhood Education. Her most recent job taking care of children is that of a Mom to four. Meghan is a born and raised Montanan and has been living in Missoula for the last ten years.
While Meghan's passion has always been in a classroom, she now enjoys collaborating with and sharing her knowledge with other providers throughout Montana by publishing her curriculum ideas, positive guidance strategies, environment set ups, and more.
You can find Meghan and her family playing near local creeks and trails or cozied up at home watching Disney movies. If you ever want to find Meghan alone, check your nearest coffee shop!
Angie joined Raise Montana as the Executive Director in 2023.
Angie was born and raised in north central Montana. She earned her undergraduate degree in English Education from Boise State University and her graduate degree in Administration from Rocky Mountain College.
Angie has seen firsthand how access to quality early care and education directly benefits the child, the family, and the community as a whole.
In her off time, Angie enjoys hiking with her dog, Addie, reading, and spending time with family and friends.