Working in partnership with state, regional and private agencies, Child Care Aware® of Missouri plans and manages or participates in many initiatives aimed at increasing the supply of quality child care and access to that care. These projects are created and funded from a variety of sources including corporations, the State of Missouri or other governmental bodies, our regional agencies, or by another organization or funder.
Recent initiatives, by region, have included:
PUTTING KIDS FIRST: A Mental Health Coalition for Boone County Families
This coalition was initially set up to establish a Community Children’s Service Fund in Boone County to ensure that all kids have a place to go when they need help…and just as importantly, to make sure that all kids have support and resources available to protect them from child abuse, neglect, substance abuse, homelessness and other harmful situations. Since this initiative passed a ¼-cent tax increase in Fall 2012, this coalition is focusing on the importance of mental health and children and various committees are in the development phase. For more information, contact Christine Corcoran at (573)815-9955.
Boone County Project LAUNCH is dedicated to strengthening the network of parents and providers and to establishing a nurturing community that enhances the health and wellness of children and families allowing them to reach their full potential. For more information, contact Laine Young-Walker or Isabel Rife at (573) 884-6455.
This group supports and promotes early childhood programs and initiatives in the Central Missouri area, providing Born Learning® materials to low-income families as an introduction to early learning. The group also works to identify gaps in services/needs in early childhood in this community. For more information, contact Amy Bax or Theresa Verslues at (573) 636-4100.
Networking Early Childhood Team (NET)
This group of social services agencies across Boone County meets to discuss specific issues that clients face with their daily lives, and share resources across agencies. For more information, contact Jessica Kirchhoefer at (573)214-3955.
The purposes of this group include promoting the need for business involvement in issues related to early childhood development (ECD) and elementary school readiness and providing opportunities for continued collaboration and communication between early childhood entities, Chamber members and the business community about ECD. The group seeks to advocate for high quality early learning opportunities through presentations to the business community, to provide support for early childhood initiatives, and to promote awareness and support of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library Program administered by the Heart of Missouri United Way. For more information, contact Jonathan Sessions at (473) 424-1999.
I. Jerome and Rosemary Flance Early Childhood Center
The Flance Center is the result of a unique partnership among McCormack Baron, Urban Strategies, and LUME Institute. The Flance Center is funded by St. Louis Housing Authority; McCormack Baron Salazar, Inc.; I. Jerome and Rosemary Flance, and other dedicated individuals and organizations. The center will serve a diverse, intentional early childhood community in a full-day program that respects and nurtures adults and children from six weeks to six years in a trusting culture of love, empathy, compassion, and joy. The center will open in the lower north St. Louis/Murphy Park neighborhood in early 2014. For more information, contact Steve Zwolak at email@example.com.
The RECC is a public-private partnership working on a number of early childhood initiatives in the St. Louis region. The Council’s vision is that “All young children in the St. Louis region are healthy, able to learn and develop essential skills so they succeed in life and our community prospers.” For more information contact Liz Hoester, at RECC@visionforchildren.org.
What Happens Early in Life Lasts a Lifetime is a public awareness campaign and conversation series. The campaign is a collaboration among Emmis Communications, PNC Grow Up Great, University City Children’s Center, Child Care Aware of Eastern Missouri, and LUME Institute. For more information, contact Steve Zwolak, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“The Old North St. Louis Restoration Group is a community-based nonprofit organization established by neighborhood residents in 1981 to revitalize the physical and social dimensions of the community in a manner that respects its historic, cultural, and urban character. The Restoration Group has evolved from humble beginnings as an all-volunteer organization to an award-winning, effective community development corporation with a professional staff and a broad range of community-building activities.” For more information contact Sean Thomas at email@example.com.
The Early Care and Education Collaborative is committed to improving the quality, affordability, and availability of early care and education. The Collaborative unites child advocates including childcare providers, early childhood educators, employers, community organizations/agencies, families, policy makers, funders, and others. These advocates identify priorities and develop strategies that address early care and education needs in our community. For more information, contact Erica Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Child Abuse and Neglect Collaborative—Springfield/Greene County
The CAN Collaborative’s objective is to reduce the occurrence of child abuse and neglect in Greene County and the surrounding region. Work on the reduction of child abuse and neglect occurs through the work of five sub-committees. These sub-committees are focusing on the strength of family, community awareness, support of children’s division, mental health and connection to the faith based community. For more information, contact Trent Sims at email@example.com
The Children Ready to Enter School Committee is interested in school readiness for all children in Butler County. The committee is made up of childcare providers, early-childhood teachers, Parents As Teachers, Head Start, Children’s Library, Health Department, Child Care Aware® of Southern MO and parents. Strategies used by the committee to increase the readiness for school include the Early Childhood Resource Fair “Silly Saturday”, Child Development Associate Scholarships, “Read From The Start” Workshops, Early Care and Education Providers’ Appreciation Brunch, Read First! and Early Childhood Seminar. For more information, contact Karen Crook at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Project CARE—Joplin/Jasper and Newton Counties
Project CARE is a child abuse and neglect prevention project funded by Children’s Trust Fund. We are a partnership of public and private agencies, organizations, businesses, churches, faith-based organizations, and other entities that have united to help stem the tide of child abuse and neglect in our Jasper and Newton County communities. We do this by facilitating services collaboratively to families who are experiencing significant stressors that can put them at risk for becoming abusive or neglectful. For more information, contact Nancy Corley at email@example.com.
Success By 6 is the nation’s largest network of early childhood initiatives, focused on increasing school readiness through community change. More than 2,500 parents and child care providers in Cape Girardeau County and Scott City benefited from Success By 6 Initiatives including parent education classes, child development information, Born Learning events and provider training. 250 books were distributed to create family libraries and increase early literacy skills. For more information, contact Janice Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Partners in Quality for Early Childhood Care and Education is comprised of organizations from the public and private sectors that have made a commitment to support early learning in Greater Kansas City. Their vision is to build a nationally unsurpassed early learning system in metropolitan Kansas City, ensuring the success of all children in the community. Their mission is to engage a broad, influential group of metropolitan Kansas City organizations and individuals to design and implement a national unsurpassed early learning system through individual commitment and collective action. For more information, contact James Caccamo, Ph.D., Director of Early Learning and Head Start, email@example.com.
The objective of Kansas City’s Collaborative: Weighing In is to grow collaborative approaches and community capacity to increase the number of children at a healthy weight. To achieve this objective, the Collaborative has formed these working groups: healthy weight pregnancies, breastfeeding, early childhood (Child Care Policy Study), schools (School Wellness Survey), communications and messaging (Fit-Tastic! Message Campaign), and communities (Systems Mapping). For more information, contact Deborah Markenson, Director Weighing In, firstname.lastname@example.org
With a planning grant award, The Family Conservancy will connect with child care programs and organizations working to improve school readiness. Mid-Continent Public Library, the Kansas City Kansas Public Library and others are invited participate, along with education, social service agencies and others. The purposes include:
- Catalog the scope of existing programs designed to support child care professionals and/or parents;
- Identify overlapping areas and gaps in service delivery; and
- Explore means of achieving coordination and collaboration among the various early literacy efforts.
The project will produce a blueprint for collaboration to achieve measurable gains in school readiness. For more information, contact Jan Fortney, email@example.com or Claudia Baker, firstname.lastname@example.org
ACE is a non-profit, non-partisan coalition of business leaders committed to improving Kansas and Missouri’s education systems. Founded on the premise that the business community has the obligation, opportunity and capacity to increase the college and workforce readiness of all students through an ambitious, aggressive and comprehensive reform agenda, ACE believes that: 1) Kansas and Missouri have systemic education problems; 2) Those shortcomings threaten the economic vitality of the states and businesses operating within the states; and 3) Business has multiple reasons to take a leadership role in aggressively pursuing reforms. For more information, contact Torree Pederson, email@example.com.
Clinton Community Early Childhood Advisory Board
The Clinton Community Early Childhood Advisory Board is comprised of community members and organizations that have a vested interest in the health and education of young children in the Clinton area. This group meets twice each year to discuss community partnerships, program updates, annual events such as “Month of the Young Child” and Child Advocacy Day. Clinton Parents As Teachers is the lead agency. For more information, contact Judi Honeywell, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Juli Schmedding, email@example.com.
Educational attainment is the most important determinant of a person’s life chances for employment, income, health status, housing, and other amenities. In northwest Missouri, individuals from various sectors are joining together to promote education and workforce development. The early learning action team promotes the investment in early childhood education by advocating to parents, child care providers, elected officials, and business leaders about the importance of quality early childhood education, work to increase the number of accredited child care programs, and promote ongoing professional development of child care providers. Through the Healthy Communities Investor Council and the Heartland Foundation Board of Trustees, each action team is developing a 3-5 year agenda that creates innovative solutions in educational attainment and skills development in the northwest Missouri communities. For more information, contact Bobbie Cronk at Bobbie.Cronk@stjosephunitedway.org.