Through the Community Children’s Services Fund (CCSF), MHB has been funding early childhood programs and services, such as onsite mental health therapists, home visiting programs, and parenting group prevention programming since 2006. In November 2020, voters approved an increase in the CCSF property tax rate dedicated to expanding early childhood programming for children birth to age 5.
Engaging the community in our learning and decision-making is essential in achieving equity, thus we responded by seeking community input through surveys, community meetings, and a Community Advisory Committee to establish early childhood funding priority recommendations. Additionally, this process helped identify funding gaps and sought to avoid funding duplication (e.g., American Rescue Plan Act, Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, etc.), as well as design an equitable and accessible application process.
The early childhood programs to be funded in FY23 will 1) increase caregiver social emotional knowledge, tools, and resources, 2) increase family access to community resources, referrals, and support and/or 3) increase the availability of behavioral health prevention and early intervention services to ensure that young children are socially and emotionally healthy and ready for kindergarten. Our Early Childhood Program Coordinator is dedicated to supporting both providers and non-profit organizations in the successful implementation of all funded programs. In addition, through authentic and equitable partnerships with community collaborations, they will also help support systemic changes identified by the early childhood community, as community-led systems change work is essential for lasting transformational change.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, was a $2.2 trillion economic stimulus bill that took effect in March 2020, in response to the economic fallout from the earliest days of the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, MHB collaborated with the City of St. Louis Department of Health in FY21 to conduct a one-time grant opportunity that distributed $2,133, 972 of CARES Act funding to support the early childhood care system. A portion of the CARES Act funding received by the City of St. Louis was made available to help stabilize early child care providers delivering high-quality care and to ensure that those critical services remained available and accessible to children and their families living in the City of St. Louis.
Small family home and child care center providers located within the community they served and/or primarily providing services to families living in under-resourced communities most affected by COVID-19 and in need of high-quality early childhood care were prioritized to receive funding. To support the stabilization of the early childhood care system, funding was distributed to: 1) fund the implementation of new health and safety measures, 2) protect staff through payroll support, and/or 3) provide affordable child care to essential and frontline workers with children from birth to age 5. Expenses reimbursed include cleaning and sanitation, supplies and equipment, payroll costs, and tuition expense.
ALC Bevo, LLC
Auntie Margaret's Daycare Inc.
Auntie's House Daycare
Baden Christian Child Care Center, Inc.
Beginning Futures LLC
Brighter Futures Day Care
Burning for Learning In Home Childcare
Children Are Unique Academy LLC
Christian Faith House Childcare
Circle of Light Associates
Constantly Growing Home Daycare
Cornerstone Center for Early Learning, Inc.
D.U.M.A.S. Bi Lingual Child Development Center
Denise C. Gilford
Diave' Daye Care Center LLC
Discovery Children's Center Inc.
Downtown Children's Center
Elevated Learning Academy LLC
First Impressions Pre-School and Learning Center
Flance Early Learning Center
Gateway Region Young Men's Christian Association
Gifted Minds Academy, LLC
Good Shepherd Infant and Toddler Center
Honey Bear Home Daycare
JUZ Kidz Nursery
Kare A Lot Child Development Center LLC
Kiddie Kaboose Daycare, LLC
Kids In Mind Academy
Kolors Learning Center # 1 LLC
La' Place Enrichment Center
Lamb's Bride Child Care Center
Little Precious Angels Child Care 2 LLC
Little Rascal Learning Academy 7 Days a Week LLC
Lutheran Family and Children's Services of Missouri
Magical Minds Childcare LLC
Mess Pats Daycare
New Day Child Care Center Inc.
Our Little Haven
Our Time To Grow Learning Center
Peace of Mind Child Development Center, LLC
Precious Steps Childcare Facility LLC
Renate's Childcare Academy
Sacred Hearts Daycare
Set to Learn Childcare Home
SouthSide Early Childhood Center
St. Lucas Early Childhood Center
Step By Step Preschool
The Christian Academy Too LLC
"We were able to keep all of our classrooms open, offer care to 17 children of front-line workers and have made significant progress on rebuilding enrollment. Besides the actual monetary benefit, the funding provided a psychological relief from some of the daily financial stresses. We are so grateful!!!"
"In a greeting card received from one of my families' they wrote: ‘Words can't express the gratitude I have for what you do. During this year of loss, chaos, and uncertainty, you remained consistent with our children. You have managed to keep them ALL safe and they have been able to keep their daily routine. I truly appreciate all that you do.’ Funding, whether for cleaning, equipment, payroll assistance or tuition, is a tool that assists in an overall goal of wellness equity. I am satisfied that our overall goal has been met! Thank you!"
"This money has helped tremendously in keeping my daycare open and allowing my parents to have a safe place to keep their children. It has helped relieve the stress for my families who have had a financial strain due to losing their jobs or having a cut in wages. My parents were also able to still give their children decent holidays without worrying about bills."