To advocate for system building and policy development that ensure families’ access to high-quality child care, early learning and out-of-school time options, Child Care Aware® of Missouri staff members participate in the following statewide groups:
- Missouri Coalition for School Readiness, promoting expanded availability of high-quality, voluntary pre-kindergarten.
- Missouri Children’s Leadership Council, coordinating public policy advocacy across multiple child- and family-serving sectors of the nonprofit community.
- Early Childhood Comprehensive System Steering Committee, working with community-based groups to foster coordinated planning and service delivery by agencies concerned with child health and mental health, early care and education, and family financial stability.
- Missouri Coordinating Board for Early Childhood, the state's public/private entity for coordinating a cohesive system of early childhood programs and services intended to support the healthy development and school readiness of all Missouri children from birth through age five.
- Missouri SpecialQuest, which strives to build inclusive communities where all young children in Missouri are safe, healthy, and capable of reaching their full potential.
- Missouri Center for Education Safety, which is dedicated to enhancing emergency planning, preparedness, and safety and security in public and nonpublic education—pre-K, K-12, and post-secondary.
In addition, we are proud to partner with four departments of Missouri state government in support of their missions, as follow:
- Missouri Department of Social Services, Child Care/Early Childhood Services, which assists families with child care expenses and funds programs to improve the quality of child care available for parents.
- Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Section for Child Care Regulation, which licenses and inspects child care centers, group child care homes and in-home child care, and funds services to assist child care programs with inclusion of children with diverse needs and abilities.
- Missouri Department of Mental Health, Office of Comprehensive Child Mental Health, which supports efforts to address young children’s emotional development and social skill development, as prevention of later mental health concerns.
- Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Office of Early and Extended Learning, which works to expand and improve early learning opportunities for children, administers the Missouri Preschool Program, and administers several grant programs for out-of-school time care.