Promotes Effectiveness, Excellence, and Equity for Missouri Children
Jefferson City, MO (STL.News) Governor Mike Parson and the Departments of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), Health and Senior Services (DHSS), and Social Services (DSS) announced the consolidation of several early childhood programs across state government into a single Office of Childhood.
The new office will be housed by DESE and provide a comprehensive approach to early childhood care and education, including all state programs related to child care, home visiting, early learning, and early intervention.
“Missouri families deserve the best early childhood system our state can provide,” Governor Parson said. “This is also a critical area of workforce development for our state. We must see to it that the workforce of tomorrow starts off on the right foot, and that means better support for Missouri children and their families.”
Currently, DESE, DHSS, and DSS each provide various services for children and families. The transition to one office will streamline early childhood work across state government and ensure all Missouri children and families have access to more consistent, quality programs and services.
A cornerstone of this initiative, and a top priority for each participating department leader, is ensuring Missouri’s children are safe, healthy, and successful learners.