MO Budget Proposal Includes Dispersing Federal Funds for Child Care
Thursday, January 13, 2022
More than half of Missouri families report paying more than $500 a month for child care, and child-care providers have been struggling to keep their doors open. Advocates for children say there are some promising actions the Legislature could take to improve both ends.
Craig Stevenson, director of policy and advocacy with Kids Win Missouri, noted that the American Rescue Plan last March allocated more than $700 million to Missouri, and the Show-Me State is one of a handful that has not yet spent it.
He said now, as providers continue to work through the latest surge of COVID, they need that relief.
"Those needs are making sure that the child-care providers stay in the field, whether that be through stipends or increased rates," said Stevenson. "We hope and anticipate to see a significant amount of resources targeted at making sure that the infant- and toddler-care supply for families who are working stays strong."
The $700 million in federal funding includes $444 million for keeping child-care providers in business, as well as $1.9 million for schools.
The state budget proposal also includes funding for Medicaid expansion, after a court ruled last year the state has to fund it after voters approved it via ballot measure.
Stevenson said as the Legislature works through the state budget and considers bills for this session, it's important to pass statutory changes to consolidate early childhood programs into one Office of Childhood, which was put into motion last year.
"Prior to the creation of the Office of Childhood, you would have - for example - home-visitation programs scattered across three different state agencies," said Stevenson. "You had different components of child care also in three different state agencies."
He said there's also a bill to extend a voluntary early learning quality-assurance report program, which can help providers increase their accreditation level, for instance.
The program is aimed at helping providers improve themselves, while also providing information to families about the quality of programs that opt in.
Support for this reporting was provided by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
get more stories like this via email
In the wake of historic summer floods in the Midwest and Appalachia, there are calls for a new national plan to reduce risks from disasters. The …
Small businesses that suffered damage or destruction from the recent historic flooding in Eastern Kentucky can get one-on-one assistance as they try t…
The Inflation Reduction Act, newly passed by the U.S. Senate, allocates $369 Billion to fight climate change, and appropriates funds specifically for …
Sweeping legislation approved by Congress is designed to address a range of issues, including climate change and deficit reductions. Other components …
By Linda Burstyn for Ms. Magazine Broadcast version by Roz Brown for New Mexico News Connection/Public News Service Bad Business: Anti-abortion …
Opening up Pennsylvania's primary elections to voters who aren't registered either as Democrats or Republicans is the topic of a State House of Repres…
August is National Black Business Month, and this year, for Black-owned companies in Pennsylvania that have managed to survive through the pandemic…
On August 27, members of the public will have a rare opportunity to visit the historic Padlock Ranch first developed for livestock in 1867, now …