Zero to Five helps caring Montanans make a lasting difference through local and statewide work, giving children a great start in life and a promising future.

We establish and coordinate local collaboratives throughout western Montana to help people make positive changes for children where those changes are most needed in each community.

We build statewide partnerships to improve the systems that serve children and families all across Montana.




To work for our children, for our future.


A Montana dedicated to every child.


Through all our work, we will keep the best interests of children at the forefront.

We will be respectful of individuals and cultures by approaching our work through a socio-economic and racial equity lens that authentically engages with the entirety of the communities we serve.

We will call partners to concrete, meaningful, and immediate action, while evoking hope.

We will be driven by the best and most innovative practices as we work toward sustainably improving systems for the long term.

We will empower families and those most impacted by our work to help direct our efforts.

Striving for consensus and participatory decision-making, we will orient our actions and efforts around measurable outcomes.

We will be willing to grow, change, and evolve as individuals and as an organization.




In April 2017, Headwaters Foundation began an extensive fact-finding mission to identify the health needs of western Montana. Through more than 400 stakeholder interviews, 17 community meetings and a mountain of research on health data in Montana, Headwaters narrowed these health issues down and decided to fund a strategic initiative focused on improving the health of Montana’s children.

In December 2018, Headwaters launched this strategic initiative, Zero to Five, to improve school readiness, resilient parenting, and healthy pregnancy outcomes in Montana.

Community Work


Four pilot communities were identified and funded by Headwaters to begin local work related to one of the three determined focus areas. These pilot communities are: Flathead, Lewis and Clark, Missoula, and Silver Bow counties. In each of these communities, local Zero to Five collaboratives build multi-sector support to drive positive change through grassroots efforts.

 As the Zero to Five initiative expands, Headwaters will fund local collaboratives in all fifteen western Montana counties, as well as a collaborative dedicated to addressing the unique challenges facing western Montana’s American Indian population.


Statewide Office

Headwaters partnered with The University of Montana Center for Children, Families & Workforce Development, Childwise Institute, and Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies, to establish a statewide office. This statewide office works to establish statewide partnerships and improve systems capacity, while also providing support, resources, and guidance to local Zero to Five collaboratives.

With the growing number of local collaboratives, the statewide office will continue to provide appropriate support while also pursuing statewide systemic work and forging a sustainable public-private partnership for the benefit of Montana’s children.