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Advocates Applaud Gov. Parson for Putting Children First in State of the State

Jefferson City, MO – This afternoon, Governor Parson delivered his State of the State address and proposed additional investments in child care and early education in his final executive budget. Parson’s proposed investments include:

  • $52 million in additional funding to increase child care subsidy rates currently at the 58th percentile for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and school-aged children to the 100th percentile for infants and toddlers and the 65th percentile for preschoolers and school-aged children as based on most recent market rate study
  • A package of child care tax incentives to support employers in providing or helping their employees afford child care and to support child care providers with resources for their operations and capital improvements
  • $82 million in continued funding for high quality pre-K provided by school districts and community-based child care providers.

“We applaud Governor Parson for once again showing his commitment to ensuring all Missouri children and families have access to child care and early education in his State of the State address,” said Brian Schmidt, Executive Director of Kids Win Missouri. “So far this session, we have seen more than 40 individuals and organizations, representing businesses, child care providers, faith groups, child welfare organizations, and local communities testify in hearings at the Capitol in support of these issues. We urge the legislature to work swiftly to consider and advance these child care and early education priorities that will support Missouri children and families now and for generations to come.”

A poll released in October by the Missouri Champion of Children coalition showed widespread bipartisan support among Missouri voters for increasing investments in childcare and early childhood education programs across the state. A memo of key findings can be found here.

Some key findings from the poll include:

  • 86% of voters, including 75% of Republicans and 94% of Democrats, say students with quality early childhood education have a better chance of success in school.
  • 89% agree that increasing access to affordable childcare will help more parents succeed at work.
  • 62% of very conservative voters and 86% of very liberal voters believe increasing access to early childhood education will reduce crime.
  • 90% of voters say having childcare options for families supports businesses and the economy.
  • 55% of voters believe the state spends too little on early childhood education.
  • 61% of voters disagree with the statement “it is easy to find affordable childcare in my area.”