HELENA – The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services hosted their annual Great Beginnings, Great Families Conference this week.

The conference focuses on bettering the lives of Montana children and families.

Just under a hundred teachers, childcare professionals, social workers and nurses attended the event. DPHHS’ goal was to provide attendees support and recognition in the work they do while promoting best practices for childcare.

Governor Steve Bullock, who spoke at the event, said that currently some of the largest challenges for Montana children are adverse childhood experiences, homelessness and not knowing when their next meal will be. Bullock also thanked the attendees for their dedication to Montana’s youth and said that all Montanans should strive to ensure healthy outcomes for all children.

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DPHHS Human Community Services Division Administrator Jamie Palagi echoed the statement and said that the state is always working to combat the toughest issues Montanan children face.

“There’s always work to do,” said Palagi, “Babies are being born, families are moving to Montana, raising their children in Montana and so anything we can do to support families in strengthening them is a good thing. “

Palagi added that many times childcare work goes under appreciated so she wanted to thank everyone who works to better the lives of Montana children.