In September 2003, the Department of Health and Senior Services, Division of Community and Public Health was awarded a federal Early Childhood Comprehensive System (ECCS) grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The purpose of the initiative is to build and implement a statewide early childhood comprehensive system that supports families and communities in their development of children that are healthy and ready to learn at school entry.

Through the development of an early childhood comprehensive system (including children with special health care needs), Missouri has identified strategies for strengthening current collaborations and partnerships, as well as implementing new ones with public and private entities. Missouri’s Early Childhood Comprehensive System (ECCS) coordinates efforts with a focus on access to health care, mental health and social-emotional development, early childhood development, child care, parent education, family support, and reduction in disparate outcomes.