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Jasper County is developing a child care and early education community plan. Led by Community Support Services of Missouri and a team of community stakeholders, the community is conducting research on the current child care and early education landscape, fiscal resources available, and the true cost of implementing a high-quality, child care and early education system that meets the community’s needs.

Key Findings

The number of children who need care is higher than the number of available slots. Only 27% of infants and toddlers and 52% of children ages 3-5 who are not enrolled in Pre-Kindergarten are served by existing slots.

On average, families are paying 14% or more of their income to cover the cost of care.

Current, unaffordable annual tuitions are not enough to cover the true cost of high-quality care.

Community Priorities

The Research

Child Care Is A Workforce Issue


of surveyed employers report that employees’ access to child care greatly or significantly affects their business


of surveyed employers report employees doing at least one of the following: taking time off to fill child care gaps, terminating their employment, permanently changing their work hours/availability, or temporarily changing their work hours

“Our organization is open 24 [hours] a day, 7 days a week and there is no child care available from 6pm to 6am and on weekends. Employees usually end up bringing their [children] to work with them which can be challenging.”

– Joplin Employer

Quotes and survey data are drawn from a non-representative convenience sample of Greene County parents, ECE directors and owners, and senior leaders of county employers.

Families Lack Access to Child Care

The number of children who need care is higher than the number of available slots. Infant and toddler care has the greatest gap between the availability of care and the demand for care with 2,590 kids who do not have a slot. Additionally, there is a 48% gap in available slots for children ages 3-5 who are not enrolled in Pre-Kindergarten. This data is based on 70% of the estimated total number of children in the area, aligned with policy research estimates used by the State of Missouri.

“I have had to change jobs due to not being able to find sufficient daycare hours. When I finally did find daycare, as a single mom, I definitely paid more than I could almost afford to be able to work.”

– Joplin Parent

Infant & Toddler (Birth-2 Years)


Kids Served

3,556 Kids
966 Slots

Pre-Kindergarten (4-5 Years)


Kids Served

1,197 Kids
1,538 Slots

Other Preschool (3-5 Years)


Kids Served

2,385 Kids
1,239 Slots


According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), child care is considered affordable if it costs families no more than 7% of their income. With median household income of $51,228, local families are paying 14% or more of their income to cover the cost of care for one child.

% income parents pay for Infant & Toddler Care


% income parents pay for Preschool


* 7% affordability threshhold

Median Household Income (MHI)


Infant & Toddler parent tuition


Preschool parent tuition


Affordable Cost Level ( 7% MHI )



More Resources ARE NEEDED to Provide Affordable High-Quality Care

In addition to being unaffordable to families, the annual cost of tuition does not cover the
true cost of high quality care for providers. Additional funds from other stakeholders are needed to support high-quality care.

Total Cost: $20,340

Infant & Toddler



Total Cost: $11,450




Investment Gap
Affordable Cost for Parents

“The only solution we can find is to raise the cost of infant/toddler child care, which will only allow us to serve the families that can pay thousands a month and exclude any low income families. This would be a huge disservice to our community.”

– Provider in Jefferson City

Our Team Members and Affiliation

Julie Reams

Carthage Chamber of Commerce

Kami Bourgault

Carthage Schools

Ryan Melton

Community Support Services of Missouri*

Sarah Gould

Community Support Services of Missouri - ELC*

Neely Myers

Creative Learning Alliance

Leisa Harner

Economic Security Corp. HS/EHS

Ashley Dickenson

Economic Security Corp. HS/EHS

Paige McCammon

Economic Security Corp. HS/EHS

Kelly Creech

Economic Security Corp. HS/EHS

Baily Austin

Elite Prep

Karen Suthers

First Steps

Joan Donner

Jasper County Juvenile Center

Travis Stephens

Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce

Eric Blackford

Joplin Schools

Libbie Burd

Joplin Schools

Linda Dishman

Joplin Schools Adult Education

Melinda St. Clair

Joplin Schools Staff

Kitty Ward

Joplin Schools Staff

Kerri Clouse

Joplin Schools Staff

Tonya Heavin

Missouri Southern State University

Nikki Tappana

MSSU Lion Cub Academy

Jessica Pommert


Manda Allard


Kayla Underwood


Patty Wheeler

PAT educator (retired)

*Lead Organization

Data compiled and presented by IFF in partnership with Kids Win Missouri and Katie Rahn Consulting. Thank you to our partners, One Joplin and Community Support Services of Missouri, and our funder, Children’s Trust Fund.