News and Updates

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Has a New Office of Childhood

Please see the news brief and the new website below concerning the new Office of Childhood at DESE. The Extended Learning Section of DESE that oversees the 21st Century Community Learning Center and the School Age Community grants will be moving under this new office. The new office will become effective August 28, 2021. Please note we do not expect any changes to our programming or our grants.

Governor Parson Announces New Office of Childhood News Release

Early Connections Announces New Office of Childhood


School Age Community (SAC) Grant Recipients for 2020-2023 Announced

The School Age Community (SAC) Grant Recipients for 2020-2023 have been announced. For a list of  current recipients and past recipients you may visit our Approved Programs page.


21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) One Time Carry-Over Funds

Clarification of Allowability of 21st CCLC Carry-Over Funds


See below for latest information on COVID-19 and your afterschool program.

Missouri's Afterschool Programs Guidance Related to COVID-19 (per email 3/19/20)

Missouri's Afterschool Programs Updates Related to COVID-19 (per email 4/9/2020)

School Age Community Guidance for COVID-19 (per email 4/28/2020)

Missouri's 21st CCLC Guidance Related to COVID-19 and School Reopening (per email 7/28/2020)

Serving Children in Afterschool during COVID-19

Guidance for Child Care Programs that Remain Open

The following entities have provided many resources (i.e. professional development, activity ideas, guidance, etc.) that may be of assistance to afterschool programs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please note these are just resources, not grant requirements, if you have any questions about a resource listed please contact our office. This is not all inclusive list, we will add any others that come to our attention.

Missouri AfterSchool Network Home Page 

National Afterschool Association Home Page 

Afterschool Alliance Home Page 

Child Care Aware Home Page 

You for Youth Home Page


External Organization Profile

The Extended Learning Section of the Department accepted self-nominations for eligible organizations to be included as part of a published list of organizations that 21st Century Community Learning Center grantees may reference for potential partnerships or professional development support. As required by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended on December 10, 2015) for this purpose, external organization is defined as:

(A) a nonprofit organization with a record of success in running or working with before and afterschool (or summer recess) programs and activities; or

(B) in the case of a community where there is no such organization, a nonprofit organization in the community that enters into a written agreement or partnership with an organization described in (A) to receive mentoring, and guidance in running or working with before and afterschool (or summer recess) programs and activities.

To be considered, nonprofit entities completed and submitted an application to the Extended Learning Section for review and approval of required documentation and eligibility. This list of organizations is intended to serve as a resource for 21st CCLC programs. Please note: the list is not an exhaustive list nor does it serve as an endorsement or certification of quality from the Extended Learning Section. Programs are not required to select from this list.

Current List of Approved Self-Nominated External Organizations

How to Apply  Please note: School districts should not apply; however, they may share this information with their partners and other external organizations who work with youth during afterschool hours.