June 3, 2019

Investing in child care today for a brighter future tomorrow

Report provides recommendations for improving safety and quality in child care

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - On May 31, 2019, the Child Care Working Group, comprised of leadership from the Missouri Departments of Health and Senior Services (DHSS), Social Services, Elementary and Secondary Education, Public Safety and the Attorney General's Office submitted a report to Governor Mike Parson detailing recommendations for enhancing Missouri's early childhood care and education system in effort to support Missouri's current and future workforce. Governor Parson announced the formation of the group in March of this year and asked that they determine improvements that will ensure safe and quality child care for Missourians.

"The Governor always challenges us to be better for the citizens of Missouri," said Dr. Randall Williams, director of DHSS. "This report is just the beginning of an ongoing conversation. We have new ideas ready for implementation, but the work to improve the safety and quality of the child care experience does not end here."

The group's recommendations centered on the following:

  • Revising statutory language to improve safety and quality in child care;
  • Revising regulations to better safety and quality in child care;
  • Integrating and coordinating early childhood care and education programs and efforts; and
  • Expanding quality initiatives to support early childhood care and education.

"Parents want affordable, safe, high-quality child care for their children. Research shows us the impact that positive and adverse childhood experiences can have on an individual throughout their lifespan.  We know better and have to do better. We hope that by investing in Missouri's early childhood care and education system today, children will have an opportunity for a brighter future tomorrow," said Alicia Jenkins, project manager of the Child Care Working Group.

DHSS will continue working with the Governor's Office, state departments, and child care stakeholders to move Missouri forward in enhancing its early childhood care and education system. Additional information on child care is available at https://health.mo.gov/safety/childcare/index.php.

 REPORT: Ensuring Safe and Quality Child Care in Missouri (pdf)

About the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services: The department seeks to be the leader in protecting health and keeping people safe. More information about DHSS can be found at http://health.mo.gov or find us on Facebook and Twitter @HealthyLivingMo.

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