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Adair County is developing a child care and early education community plan. Led by Kirksville Regional Economic Development, Inc. 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 35% of infants and toddlers and 73% of preschoolers are served by existing slots.

On average, families are paying 21% 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

“Lack of child care options have forced employees into situations where a significant portion of their pay goes to child care expenses, so they’re almost better off not working .”

– Employer

Parent and employer quotes and survey data are drawn from a non-representative convenience sample of Adair County parents and senior leaders of county employers, and ECE directors and owners from 5 Missouri Counties, including Adair.

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 351 kids who do not have a slot. Additionally, there is a 27% gap in available slots for children ages 3-5. 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.

“When my son was first born, I thought I would have to quit my job because there weren’t any available providers. I had interviewed two women, but I didn’t feel safe leaving my newborn in either place.”

-Kirksville Parent

Infant & Toddler (Birth-2 Years)


Kids Served

537 Kids
186 Slots

Preschool (3-5 Years)


Kids Served

522 Kids
383 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 $41,977, local families are paying 21% 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: $20,319

Infant & Toddler



Total Cost: $11,442




Investment Gap
Affordable Cost for Parents

Our Team Members and Affiliation

Donna Brown


Andrea Orwig

Bright Beginnings Daycare

Anastasia Tiedemann


Jenn Vaughn

CAPNEMO/Head Start

Traci Lawrence


Ashley Young

City of Kirksville

Carolyn Christman

Chrisman Consulting, Parent

Krista Garth

Complete Family Medicine with Hannibal Regional

Marty Archer

Faith Lutheran Preschool

Michelle Easley

First Steps & OOC Community Leader

David Bost

Fun Factory Preschool and Daycare

Jason Chrisman

Hannibal Regional Hospital

Erica Supple

Heritage House Realty

John Gardner

Kirksville City Council

Deb Snyder

Kirksville R-3

Melissa Klocke

Kirksville R-3 Early Childhood Learning Center

Dee Coleman


Jennifer Wilson

Preferred Family Healthcare

James Kamanda

Rehoboth Church

Bryce Cardwell


Danielle Bopp

State Farm, Parent

*Lead Organization

Data compiled and presented by IFF in partnership with Kids Win Missouri and Katie Rahn Consulting. Thank you to our partner, Kirksville Regional Economic Development Inc., and our funder, Children’s Trust Fund.