Policy Resource

Expanding Access to Early Head Start: State Initiatives for Infants and Toddlers at Risk (Missouri)

Feb 9, 2016

This joint report by ZERO TO THREE and CLASP draws on newly conducted research on state efforts to expand and enhance access to Early Head Start services for infants, toddlers, and their families.

The federal Early Head Start program was created to help minimize the disparities caused by poverty by supporting the healthy development of expectant mothers and low-income infants and toddlers in the context of their families and communities. However, less than 4 percent of babies and toddlers who are eligible for Early Head Start are currently being served. This report describes the diverse strategies states are using to build upon Early Head Start and offers recommendations for states interested in expanding this proven program. It builds on a previous paper, Building on the Promise: State Initiatives to Expand Access to Early Head Start for Young Children and their Families, released by the two organizations in 2008.

Since 1998, Missouri has expanded the capacity of existing Early Head Start (EHS) programs by providing funding for EHS to partner with child care providers. This option was designed to deliver EHS services through community child care settings and improve the overall quality of care. Starting in 2012, Missouri expanded the capacity of EHS programs by selecting the EHS home-based program option as one of the models to implement under the MIECHV program.

In 2014 Missouri received estimated new funding for EHS expansion and EHS-CC Partnerships. The projected number of children to be served with this funding is 232.

In 2014:

  • Federally-Funded Early Head Start slots totaled 1913
  • State-Funded Early Head Start slots totaled 316
  • MIECHV-Funded Early Head Start slots totaled 201
  • Early Head Start Home Visiting Office of Head Start-Funded slots totaled 703

For further information on state, see the following pages in Expanding Access to Early Head Start:

  • Page 10: Table. Funding Mechanisms for State EHS Initiatives

  • Page 17: APPENDIX. Initiatives that expand the capacity of Early Head Start (EHS) programs to increase the number of children and pregnant women served

  • Page 18: APPENDIX. Initiatives that support partnerships between EHS and center-based or family child care providers to improve the quality of care

Read the full report at www.zerotothree.org/expandingehs.

Read an in-depth profile on states initiative at: http://www.zerotothree.org/public-policy/pdf/state-ehs-profiles/missouri-ehs.pdf

Updated January, 2016

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