Blog | September 8, 2023

A Historic Year for Missouri’s Youngest Kids

On May 5th, the Missouri State Budget was finalized with historic investments for early childhood programs.

This included a $78.5 million increase in the child care subsidy rate, $56 million for pre-K expansion grants to public and charter schools, $26 million in pre-K expansion grants to community-based providers, $2 million for evidence-based home visiting programs, and $1 million funding for collective impact sites.

Our members were vital in helping ensure these investments.

Member highlights included:

In January and February, Mission: Readiness member Brigadier General Daryl McCall, U.S. Army and Fight Crime: Invest in Kids member Springfield Chief of Police Paul Williams authored op-eds respectively, supporting early childhood investments in the state from national security and public safety perspectives: Today, 77% of young Americans are ineligible for military service. Missouri must help | Opinion and Early child care funding is an investment in public safety

In March, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids and Mission: Readiness joined together to pen a letter to the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and key members of the state legislature, calling for an expansion of pre-K, increases in child care subsidies, and the creation of new tax credits for businesses that increased employees’ access to child care.

And, in April, Major General (Ret.) Cassie Strom, U.S. Air Force, Prosecuting Attorney Jacob Shellabarger, and Springfield Chief of Police Paul Williams met with Governor Parson, Lt. Governor Kehoe, and 17 legislators to highlight why law enforcement and retired military leaders care about investments in these programs. Additionally, Brigadier General (Ret.) Daryl McCall, U.S. Army joined Chief Williams and Prosecuting Attorney Shellabarger at a child care facility in Springfield to discuss the importance of investments in pre-K and child care.

These wins would not have been possible without amazing members who lent their voices for the future of Missouri. Thank you, and we look forward to what we do in 2024!

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