Early Connections makes navigating Missouri’s Early Care & Education (ECE) system easier for families and professionals. This website is a partnership between Missouri’s child-serving agencies who are working together to make it easier for families to access programs and resources for children from birth through age five. These agencies are also aligning policies and coordinating practices to make it easier for professionals to find information and training opportunities aimed at engaging families in their child’s safety, health and learning. The regional hub for these services includes Franklin, Gasconade, Crawford, and Washington Counties.
What is an Early Care & Education System?
Missouri’s ECE system is comprised of multiple programs that work with families and professionals to improve early childhood experiences for all Missouri children. These programs include home visiting, child care and preschool. Through collaborative efforts with state agencies, providers and communities, Missouri is working to ensure that families and other caregivers have the knowledge, resources, skills and tools available to help children grow to be safe, healthy and successful learners.
On December 23, 2019, Governor Parson announced that the State of Missouri received a $33.5 million grant aimed at coordinating a more effective, high-quality early learning system that better prepares Missouri children for success. “This is great news for our state that will allow our agencies and programs to come together and focus on the same goals to better serve communities across Missouri,” Governor Parson said.
The Preschool Development Grant Birth to Five (PDG B-5) provides funding over three years to implement an interagency effort to provide regional access to coordinated early childhood services to better meet family’s needs, enhance and streamline training opportunities for ECE professionals, and improve systems to better inform decision-making about early learning.