Visit our Action and Information Center to find the latest information on state and federal legislation that supports quality child care. Learn how you can take action steps to help us advocate for children at the state and federal levels.
You can also sign up to receive Parent Central, our newsletter for parents that includes timely information on topics related to child development, parenting and pending state and federal legislation affecting children.
If you suspect child abuse or neglect, please contact one of the following:
The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453) is dedicated to the prevention of child abuse. Serving the United States, its territories, and Canada, the Hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with professional crisis counselors who, through interpreters, can provide assistance in 170 languages. The Hotline offers crisis intervention, information, literature, and referrals to thousands of emergency, social service, and support resources. All calls are anonymous and confidential.
Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP): assures that nutritious meals and snacks are served to children and eligible adults enrolled in child care centers, family child care homes, after school programs, emergency shelters, and adult day care programs by providing reimbursement for meals that meet minimum nutritional standards. The CACFP requires that well-balanced meals are served and good eating habits are taught. The CACFP also provides training and technical assistance on nutrition, food service operations, program management, nutrition education and recordkeeping.
Children’s Division Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline Unit: (CA/NHU) accepts confidential reports of suspected child abuse, neglect, or exploitation. Reports are received through a toll-free telephone line which is answered seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Members of certain occupational groups, such as teachers, social workers, and physicians, are mandated by law to make reports to the Hotline. Any person may report, and anonymous reports are accepted from individuals who are not mandated by occupation to report. Effective August 28, 2004, Missouri law requires Mandated Reporters to identify themselves when making a report.
Toll-free number: 800-392-3738
For persons calling from outside Missouri: 573-751-3448
Text telephone number: 800-669-8689
Department of Social Services (DSS), Early Childhood Grants and Resources: DSS administers funding to promote quality and safety in early care and education environments.
Early Education and Child Care at Mo.gov: State web site with general information on child care licensing and state related agencies that serve children. There is also a link to the state child abuse and neglect hotline.
Food Stamp program: The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 renamed the federal program the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) effective October 1, 2008. SNAP is designed to promote the general welfare and safeguard the health and well-being of the nation’s population by raising the levels of nutrition among low-income households. The program is called the Food Stamp Program in Missouri.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) – Laws and regulations for children with special needs from birth through three years (Part C) and three years to 21 years of age (Part B).
Missouri Early Head Start/Child Care Partnership Project: a nationally recognized effort to increase the capacity of and access to care for this vulnerable age group and to provide parents with a wider variety of quality child care settings from which to choose. A portion of HB 1519 funding was used to create partnerships between Early Head Start (serving children birth to age 3) and community child care homes and centers. The benefits of this partnership include allowing Missouri to maximize state funds by drawing down additional federal funds through a partnership with the Administration for Children and Families. It also positively impacts the overall quality of care in communities, and maximizes the number of children receiving benefits from this funding.
Missouri Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP): has two components: Energy Assistance/Regular Heating (EA) and Energy Crisis Intervention Program (ECIP). EA is designed to provide financial assistance to help pay heating bills for Missourians during the months of October, November, December, January, February, and March. Eligibility requirements for EA are based on income, household size, available resources and responsibility for payment of home heating costs. Eligibility for EA may also qualify individuals for additional financial assistance through ECIP.
Missouri’s Medicaid program is called MO HealthNet. MO HealthNet covers qualified medical expenses for individuals who meet certain eligibility requirements. Eligible individuals receive a “MO HealthNet Identification Card” or a letter from the Family Support Division identifying them as eligible for certain medical care services.
MO HealthNet (Medicaid) for Families: provides medical care for children under 19 years of age whose family income falls within certain guidelines. After your application has been processed, you will receive a letter from the Family Support Division. If you are eligible for services, you will be issued a “MO HealthNet Identification Card,” and explanation of the medical services available to you.
Parents As Teachers™ is a voluntary and free program that provides practical, effective help for all families with children birth to age three. It offers personal visits, group meetings, and developmental screenings. Parents As Teachers™ is available throughout Missouri. Find your local Parents as Teachers organization online or call the National Parents as Teachers information line at 866-728-4968.
ParentLink is a free program offering information on many topics helpful to families. ParentLink is operated by the University of Missouri. Parenting Specialists maintain a confidential toll-free warm-line at 800-552-8522 (en Español, 888-460-0008).
Parent Central is a free electronic newsletter for families. Each issue includes information on topics related to child development, parenting, and state and federal laws impacting child care. Information about useful resources for families is also included.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): a program designed to provide cash benefits to low-income families for the household’s children such as clothing, utilities and other services. Upon approval of TANF, the recipient must participate in employment and training services through the Missouri Work Assistance (MWA) program. The MWA program helps TANF recipients transition from TANF to a job by helping set goals and get the skills needed to find a job and support the recipient’s family.
Women, Infants and Children (WIC): a special supplemental nutrition program which provides services to pregnant women, new mothers, infants and children up to their 5th birthday based on nutritional risk and income eligibility. The primary services provided are health screening, risk assessment, nutrition education and counseling, breastfeeding promotion and referrals to health care. Supplemental food is provided at no cost to participants.