Outreach banner

Outreach activities include the Childhood Connections e-newsletter, various webinars with stakeholders, and advisory council meetings. Outreach is important; it helps families and professionals become more involved in Missouri’s system of childhood services, including early learning and afterschool programs. From learning about programs to providing feedback on a policy, there are a variety of ways that stakeholders can engage with others at the local, regional, and state level.  

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library of Missouri

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is dedicated to inspiring a love of reading by delivering high-quality, age-appropriate books each month to the homes of registered children under age five. The implementation of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in other states has shown increased childhood literacy rates, fostered a love of books, and promoted a culture of reading before entering kindergarten, which are important skills and behaviors for school readiness.

Missouri Family Resources

Missouri Family Resources is a statewide, free, resource website and mobile app that houses a variety of local resources for families with young children. It is designed to be used by families and professionals.

Stakeholder Engagement

Missouri stakeholders and leaders came together with The Hunt Institute in the spring and summer of 2021 to develop recommendations for ongoing engagement with the Office of Childhood with the goal of ensuring meaningful participation within its decision-making processes. To achieve this goal, leaders held numerous meetings, focus groups, and survey activities to unite all early childhood and afterschool stakeholders to provide the Office of Childhood with comprehensive feedback and recommendations for Early Childhood and Afterschool Stakeholder Engagement.  

System Asset and Gap Analysis

Goals for the Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems (ECCS) grant include building an integrated maternal and early childhood system of care, promoting early developmental health, and increasing family-centered access to care in the prenatal to three population. The purpose of ECCS is to create a maternal and early childhood system that is equitable, sustainable, comprehensive, and inclusive of the health system.

The System Asset and Gap Analysis (SAGA) analyzes the landscape of the state’s early childhood system (ECS). The SAGA  addresses integration of the ECS and the health sector and identifies gaps in the promotion of early developmental health and family well-being. The SAGA includes a network analysis of the early care and education (ECE) and maternal-child health (MCH) systems, identifying and describing the relationships among various organizations that make up those systems.

Early Connections

Early Connections is a central place for families and professionals to access resources and information about what young children need from the Early Care & Education (ECE) system. We help families provide safe environments for their children, engage families in their children’s health and development and bring services for children and families together across the state.

Early Care and Education Resource and Referral

Early Care and Education Resource and Referral (ECERR) brings together child care referral and early care and education (ECE) resources, including home visiting, early intervention, and child care. ECERR helps families learn about and access the resources and services they need to ensure that their children are safe, healthy, and successful learners. ECERR established and manages a statewide call center and self-search website to help families understand and identify the ECE options and resources that best fit their needs. Other activities include partnering with childhood community leaders to increase awareness of early childhood programs and services and local resources, working with childhood community leaders to increase awareness of early childhood programs, services, and local resources, providing data on the supply and demand of child care services, and creating child care consumer education materials for families.

Preschool Development Grant (PDG B-5)

Early Learning & Early Literacy are key priority areas in the Department’s strategic plan, Show Me Success. The Preschool Development Grant provides DESE the opportunity to support this plan and the efforts.

Advisory Councils

Advisory councils allow for two-way communication between the Office of Childhood and stakeholders, ensuring there is regular, ongoing, and meaningful engagement with reciprocal communication across diverse groups of stakeholders.

Childhood Connections E-Newsletter

Childhood Connections is the Office of Childhood’s monthly e-newsletter. As a Childhood Connections subscriber, you will receive announcements, important reminders, and other news from the Office of Childhood. To subscribe visit EarlyConnections.mo.gov and click “Join the Mailing List” in the upper right hand side of the page.