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The St. Louis Regional Early Childhood Council (RECC) works to build a comprehensive system that addresses the full range of early childhood needs for all St. Louis-area children. Our vision: All young children in the St. Louis region are healthy, able to learn and develop essential skills so they succeed in life and our community prospers.

The RECC is working to implement St. Louis Regional Early Childhood 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.

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

Further tax cuts are being considered in the 2018 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.

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

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., Vision for Children at Risk
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 Vision for Children at Risk, 314-534-6015.

Thank you to our funders!