Early Childhood Education
Ensure sufficient early childhood development and education programs to meet the demand and align all efforts around a high-quality model that produces measurable child outcomes:
- Birth to 3 years of age:
- Scale-up and integrate, for the region’s most needy children and families, evidence-based early childhood programs for a continuum of care, including but not limited to, home visitation programs;
- Combine education/job training programs for adults with childcare and pre-school for kids (equal eligibility requirements, same site and hours availability, common transportation options, etc.);
- Increase state funding for childcare subsidies or pilot regional strategies to fund such services;
- Fund expanded college-training and professional development opportunities for early child care workers, building on Regional Early Childhood Coordinating Committee efforts.
- 3-4 years of age:
- Create universal Pre-K for children ages 3-4.
- 5+ years of age:
- Change Missouri compulsory school attendance age from 7 years old to 5 years old;
- Create an effective and efficient collaborative model between school district’s early childhood programs and community based programs.
Models:Parents As Teachers, Oklahoma Universal Pre-K; North Carolina work in licensing centers and professional support for providers through a regional system known as TEACH; Missouri Coordinating Board for Early Childhood Pre-K Panel
While policy changes are important to changing the landscapes of our schools, it is only effective when paired with culture changes. Engage with your child’s school to facilitate a great school climate and culture for all students, teachers and administrators. This can take the form of attending PTA meetings, starting discussion groups with other parents, or…