The St. Louis Regional Early Childhood Council supports policies and programs that enhance early childhood development in the state of Missouri, including increased investment in early childhood programs to ensure that the fundamental developmental, educational and health needs of the state’s young children are met. Extensive economic research documents that investing in early childhood development yields the highest returns of any type of public sector investment. Supporting early childhood development will significantly contribute to the optimal well‐being of Missouri’s children, their success in school, and to Missouri’s economic competitiveness. Investing in quality early childhood programs is a wise choice that benefits children, their families, and our community. Preparing children to succeed in kindergarten prepares them for a lifetime of success.

DESE Seeks Input on Quality Assurance Report – Deadline Nov. 5, 2018

Missouri is moving one step closer to implementing a Quality Assurance Report! A Quality Assurance Report (QAR) is a tool that will provide families with the information they need to make informed choices about an early education setting for their children. It is sort of a “Yelp” tool, but more complicated. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education invites interested parties to take a short survey regarding the elements that will be included in Missouri’s QAR. You can find the survey, along with a draft of a proposed structure here. The deadline to complete the survey is November 5.

Report Highlights Importance of Raising Minimum Wage

Make Work Work, a report released by the Clark-Fox Policy Institute, focuses on the strain that low wages and unaffordable quality childcare places on families. The analysis leads to three evidence-based policy recommendations. 1) Increase the minimum wage to a family sustaining wage. 2) Modify the child care subsidy structure to ensure parents can receive subsidies until they achieve a living wage. 3) Develop a system to measure child care quality and provide supports for child care providers to improve services. Read the report here

We want to draw attention to the opportunity that voters will have to weigh in on raising the minimum wage on November 6. Proposition B proposes to raise the minimum wage by 85 cents per year until it reaches $12/hour in 2023. Kids Win Missouri has endorsed Proposition B, as well as Vision for Children at Risk. These organizations believe that Prop B is an important step in moving families toward a living wage. Both children and parents experience short and long-term negative effects from the toxic stress that stems from chronic poverty. You can read VCR’s fact sheet here. Please take time to educate yourself on this important issue before November 6.

Advocacy Alert: Impact of Proposed Missouri Tax Cuts on Young Children

Further tax cuts are being considered in the Missouri Legislature. Please contact your legislators to remind them that investing in the lives of young children and their families should be a top priority as decisions are made. Please help ensure that any proposed tax changes do not decrease general revenue and include a refundable earned income tax credit.

See this fact sheet describing Missouri’s already low investment in young children.


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.

 

RECC policy activities are overseen by the Public Awareness & Advocacy Committee. For further information, contact Ruth Ehresman at 314-534-6015, rehresman@visionforchildren.org.