Early Childhood Grants & Resources

 The Early Childhood & Prevention Services Section of the Children’s Division administers funding to promote quality and safety in early care and education environments.

The Early Childhood Development, Education, and Care Fund (ECDECF) as stated in Missouri Revised Statute Chapter 313, Section 313.835 was established to provide funding to increase capacity of, and access to, quality early childhood programs for all Missouri families. The funds are distributed through grant programs, certificates to families, and an increase in state child care subsidies for child care programs accredited by a recognized accrediting organization. The funds distributed through grant programs are listed below with information on how to access these programs.

Current Grant Opportunities

Home Visitation Services

The Home Visitation Services program consists of a Stay at Home Parent (SAHP) program, which is funded by ECDECF, and a Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention (CANP) program funded by other state dollars.

To participate in the Stay at Home Parent Program, a family must have a child less than three (3) years of age in the home and a household income under 185% of poverty. Additionally, the parent must meet any one of the following requirements:

  1. Unemployed but may be receiving Temporary Assistance or other income;
  2. Employed 20 hours or less per week;
  3. Participating in an education or job training program;
  4. Living in a shelter or temporary housing;
  5. A teen parent;
  6. Referred by the state agency as being “at risk” for physical, emotional, social, or educational abuse/neglect.

To participate in the Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Program a family may meet any of the criteria for the Stay at Home Parent program but must be a parent who has a child less than three (3) years of age in the home and must be considered high risk , which includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Families living in poverty.
  2. Teen parent.
  3. Families in homeless or other crisis situations.
  4. Families with children with special needs.

Services are provided via home visits by parent educators, group training sessions targeted at various topics dealing with child development and creating healthy families, and networking opportunities for the families. Families are also provided with books for their child, an array of developmentally appropriate toys they can check out to use with their child, and incentive certificates that they may use to purchase toys, books, safety items, safe cribs, etc. for their child. (The CANP program is not required to provide certificates but may choose to do so). The Stay at Home Parent programs are also required to provide services that address literacy, mathematics, science, physical development, health and safety, and social–emotional levels building on the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Pre–K Early Learning Standards. (The CANP program is not required to address literacy, mathematics, or science but may choose to do so.)

Early Head Start Child Care Partnership Program

Used to increase the quality and capacity of childcare for Missouri’s birth to age three population. Early Head Start programs are encouraged to partner with a wide range of providers in the community including both public and private, as well as faith-based, family child care homes, group homes, and centers, to create a variety of quality settings from which parents may choose.

Other Resources: