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Sharing Best Practices

Sharing Best Practices

Developing a strong, connected and educated Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) workforce is a priority for DESE and its partners. Families' need for infant/toddler care currently exceeds the supply, and this problem is magnified in rural areas and during non-traditional working hours, limiting parental choice. Missouri, like other states, struggles with a shortage of available infant/toddler care, with 20,426 spaces for this age group in licensed and licensed-exempt care. While there are a number of factors that come into play, insuring the infant/toddler caregivers have the skills and knowledge needed to provide quality care is a critical piece, as children's brain development is most rapid in the first three years of life. Stronger Together Missouri (STMO) therefore sees this as an area of opportunity with the potential for strong impact and will be intentional in leveraging PDG B-5 funding to support this population in acquiring educational qualifications and competencies that will increase the overall quantity and quality of the workforce.