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The St. Louis Regional Early Childhood Council (RECC) works to build a coordinated system promoting educational readiness and healthy development of young children ages 0-8 in the St. Louis region, especially those affected by poverty and racial inequity. The RECC brings together over 200 child-serving organizations, funders and businesses.

The RECC is working to implement a region-wide strategic plan with the following goals:

  • Improve racial equity and reduce disparities across health and early education domains.
  • Create a system of early care and education as evidenced by shared goals, deliberate and clear communication, coordinated efforts and adequate resources.
  • Increase the participation of all key stakeholders including parents, service providers, policy makers and the business community.

Legislation Proposes Background Checks for Child Care Providers

Bills have been introduced in the Missouri Senate and House that would require individuals working for child care providers that receive federal or state funds to have background checks. The federal Child Care Development Block Grant calls for states to require background checks by Sept. 30, 2018. If Missouri does not maintain compliance, it stands to lose five percent of its CCDBG funds. For more information, see this fact sheet.

Turn the Page STL Early Literacy Initiative Under Way

Two dozen St. Louis-area early literacy organizations are joining with the RECC in a year-long campaign to promote reading to young children. Learn more about the campaign, Turn the Page STL.

Lisa Greening from Ready Readers and Julius B Anthony from St. Louis Black Authors discuss the Turn the Page STL early literacy campaign, and the disparities in early literacy between affluent, white children and poor, African American children. Watch it now on YouTube.  NOTE: The Turn the Page STL segment begins at 21:45 in the 30-minute program.


Building Blocks Report Shows Supply and Demand for Early Care and Education Programs in the St. Louis Region

The RECC Data Committee, along with Vision for Children at Risk and Missouri Wonk, have released a report studying the location and type of early care and education programs in the St. Louis region. Data is shown by ZIP code and school district, for programs that are centers, home-based and school-based. The report tracks 2,641 facilities serving 67,685 children.
Read the summary report.
See detailed data and maps by ZIP code and school district.



Read the St. Louis Regional Early Childhood Plan

The St. Louis Regional Early Childhood Plan was introduced at the St. Louis Metropolitan Early Childhood Summit on Oct. 4. The plan outlines goals and strategies in three areas:

  • Improving racial equity
  • Creating a system of early care and education
  • Increasing the participation of key stakeholders including parents, service providers, policymakers and the business community

Major RECC Initiatives in Early Literacy, Screening

Two major RECC initiatives are getting under way:

Early Literacy: This campaign, Turn the Page STL, will promote community awareness around the importance of reading in St. Louis. The initiative will partner with Ready Readers, St. Louis City and St. Louis County libraries and 11 other literacy organizations to engage parents and caregivers in the critical activity of reading with children from birth. The initiative will include public service announcements on the developmental benefits of reading to young children and will sponsor special events throughout the region to ultimately increase reading readiness in Kindergarten and beyond. (Right) At the Sept. 28 kickoff event for Turn the Page STL.

Developmental Screening:  The RECC will partner with parents, families and the medical community to identify and treat early mental health and developmental issues in children. Research shows children who are screened early and provided needed interventions are highly likely to succeed in school and beyond.

A grant from the Dana Brown Charitable Trust is providing funding for these initiatives. In addition, an in-depth analysis of child care supply and demand in St. Louis and St. Louis County is being undertaken by SouthSide Early Childhood Center, an RECC partner, with funding support from the Missouri Foundation for Health.

See a Summary of Current RECC Program Committee Activities

Much is going on now in the RECC. See a summary of current RECC program committee activities.

For more information, contact Lindsey Noblot, Project Director, at 314-737-8774,

RECC Welcomes Lindsey Noblot as Project Director

The Regional Early Childhood Council has appointed Lindsey Noblot as Project Director effective June 26. In this position, she will provide staff support to the RECC, its committees and initiatives. She most recently managed 5byAge5, a regional early childhood initiative at Beyond Housing based in the Normandy Schools Collaborative. There, she focused on improving child care quality, increasing family engagement and increasing early childhood screenings for children living in the school district’s 23 communities. Her previous experience working with collaborative networks will be an asset to the RECC.

Her position with the RECC is funded by a grant from the YouthBridge Community Foundation. Thanks to YouthBridge for your support of the RECC.


RECC Committees

The RECC has six working program committees: Data Systems, Public Awareness & Advocacy, Early Childhood Care & Education, Early Childhood Health and Mental Health, Community Resources & Family Engagement, and Turn the Page STL.  Committee meeting dates:

Committee Meeting Schedule
Community Resources & Family Engagement Third Tuesday, 1:00-2:30 p.m., Vision for Children at Risk
Data Third Friday, 8:30-10:00 a.m.
Early Care & Education Third Monday, 2:30-3:30 p.m.
Health & Mental Health Fourth Thursday, 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Nurses for Newborns
Public Awareness & Advocacy Second Thursday, 2:30 to 4:00 p.m., SouthSide Early Childhood Center
Turn the Page STL (Early Literacy) Second Monday, 9:00 to 10:30 a.m., Vision for Children at Risk

New members are welcome. Call 314-534-6015 or contact the committee chair to confirm current meetings and locations. See list of committee chairs and contact information.

Read the RECC brochure    RECC_Brochure_Cover-web


Fact Sheet: The Critical Importance of Early Childhood Development


Learn about The Raising of America series

Learn about The Raising of America series————-

Recent Media Coverage

“Show that the well-being of young children matters”
Commentary by RECC Co-Chairs Anne Kessen Lowell and Dawn Winkler
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 18, 2016

St. Louis Post-Dispatch Special Report
“The Crisis Within: How Toxic Stress and Trauma Endanger Our Children”
February 21, 2016

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Nov. 17, 2015

By Nancy Cambria

St. Louis Public Radio “St. Louis on the Air,” Nov. 16, 2015

“How will expanding access to early childhood education help the region?”
Guests: Shelly Williams, Nine Network/American Graduate; Michael Scully, PNC; Katie Rahn, Southside Early Childhood Center

For more information on the Regional Early Childhood Council and how to get involved, contact Lindsey Noblot, RECC Project Director, 314-737-8774

Thank you to our funders!