Child Care Aware of Missouri supports Gov Nixon's early childhood education focus

St. Louis, Missouri – Child Care Aware® of Missouri announced today that the organization is giving Governor Jay Nixon its full support in his initiative to expand access to early education. Carol Scott, CEO at Child Care Aware® of Missouri, was one of several early childhood education advocates that met with Governor Nixon during his first official meeting after his inauguration on January 14.

“Nationally recognized research studies show us that investment in early learning programs has a significant impact on economic development and is an essential strategy for ensuring school readiness,” said Scott. “We are looking forward to working with the Governor’s office and the General Assembly to ensure meaningful and accountable state investments in early learning.”

Child Care Aware® of Missouri uses state funding to provide child care and early learning program staff with professional development opportunities, and helps expand the supply of programs to increase parents’ options. The organization has also helped hundreds of programs throughout Missouri to meet standards for national or state accreditation. Funding for Accreditation Facilitation was cut from the state’s FY2013 budget, however Governor Nixon has proposed restoring the funds in FY 2014. The proposed budget also includes restored funding for Early Head Start programs and significantly increased funding to the Missouri Preschool Project. “Restored and expanded funding to programs not only ensures that more Missouri children have access to early learning, it also allows parents to work, keeping our economy strong,” said Scott. Proposed increases in funding for Transitional Child Care Fee Assistance will allow more working parents to use child care at a reduced rate without experiencing the “cliff effect” of losing all assistance due to a minor increase in wages.

Child Care Aware® of Missouri encourages other early childhood education advocates, including programs and parents, to join its efforts in supporting Governor Nixon’s proposed budget. “We need to make sure our voices are heard in the state legislature to ensure the Governor’s recommendations are carried forward,” said Scott. Parents and members of the child care and early learning workforce can find out how to contact their state representatives by visiting the organization’s Action Center at mo.childcareaware.org.

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Child Care Aware® of Missouri coordinates the activities and services of child care resource and referral agencies across all 115 counties in Missouri. Our mission is to connect families to child care, early learning and out-of-school time programs; improve the quality of those programs; and collaborate with business and civic leaders to make child care safe and enriching for children. We are affiliated with Child Care Aware® of America (formerly NACCRRA). To learn more about Child Care Aware® of Missouri and its services, please visit us at www.mo.childcareaware.org.

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