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Child advocates praise Parson’s investments in childcare, early education

At the end of June, Governor Mike Parson signed off on the budget passed by the Missouri General Assembly. The budget included funds for a variety of state investments. One of the most notable was millions set aside for multiple childcare-related issues.

Childcare was a hot topic issue for both Parson and legislators this session. Rep. Brenda Shields, Rep. Hannah Kelly, Rep. Betsy Fogle, Sen. Lauren Arthur, and Sen. Mary Elizabeth Coleman were just a few of the legislators that had priorities related to childcare.

Parson made childcare a large talking point of his 2023 State of the State address. Parson proposed $56 million to expand pre-K programs in the state and $78 million in support to low-income, working families to help access child care.

And now Missouri legislators have made those wishes a reality in the budget. The budget included $78 million to support low-income, working families in accessing child care, $56 million for grants to public schools to provide high-quality pre-K education, and $26 million for grants to childcare facilities to provide high-quality pre-K education

This has garnered praise from advocacy groups like The Missouri Champion of Children Coalition.

“Under the leadership of Governor Parson and the General Assembly, Missouri took historic steps in supporting children and families,” Kids Win Missouri Executive Director Brian Schmidt said per release. “These early childhood investments provide critical resources to address the child care crisis and improve access to proven early education programs for kids in communities across the state.”

The Missouri Champion of Children Coalition is an alliance of multiple organizations dedicated to solving issues relating to early childhood and childcare in Missouri. The Coalition includes Kids Win Missouri, Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, Children’s Trust Fund, United WE, Aligned, American Academy of Pediatrics-Missouri Chapter, Children’s Defense Fund and the Council for a Strong America