This summer ARCHS awarded $685,280 in funding to United 4 Children to provide Educare and Infant Toddler Specialist Network (ITSN) services. Funding will collectively support 120 regional childcare programs, including 190 staff trainings, and 1,500 quality improvement site visits.

“ARCHS has partnered with United 4 Children for several years to provide youth development and out-of-school time programs. We are excited about expanding this partnership with an intensive focus on vital early childhood programs serving under-resourced families,” says ARCHS’ Chief Executive Officer Wendell E. Kimbrough. 

“We are honored to partner with ARCHS in our shared vision for Missouri’s children to be given every opportunity to be safe, healthy, and to thrive in high quality learning settings from birth and beyond,” says United 4 Children Executive Director Deanna Finch.  

The Educare program supports, educates, and provides resources that improve the quality of childcare and early learning programs which serve children receiving state childcare subsidies. The program’s goal is to ensure that all childcare and early learning programs have the knowledge and support needed to provide developmentally appropriate practices and to implement early childhood programming that supports children’s development.  

Educare services are available to family childcare programs that serve at least one child receiving childcare subsidy assistance from the state. This includes registered but unlicensed family childcare providers, licensed family childcare providers, and licensed family childcare providers operating in a group home setting. 

ITSN’s goal is to improve the quality of infant and toddler care. The program provides free support to childcare providers, including assessment of infant and toddler classrooms, on-site consultations, materials, and targeted trainings. ITSN helps childcare centers or providers who are licensed or license-exempt, care for children ages 0-36 months, and care for at least one child receiving a state childcare subsidy. 

ARCHS funding for Educare and ITSN is provided by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Office of Childhood.