Ensuring safe children in stable families in strong communities with supports (public and private services) that are responsive to the needs of children, youth and their families.


Kids Win Missouri’s priorities in this issue area include:

  • Requiring criminal background checks for child care providers. Child Care Aware of Missouri has created an informational document, Comprehensive Background Checks for Child Care Programs, that helps explain the policy.
  • Changing the definition of “child” to a person under the age of 18 (rather than 17). The Missouri Juvenile Justice Association’s policy brief explains the Raise the Age issue and this radio interview provides some background on how Missouri is an outlier when it comes to juvenile justice laws. 
  • Prohibiting the suspension and/or expulsion of very young children from school. The University of Missouri’s Center for Family Policy and Research has a policy brief on the issue titled The Call to End Preschool Expulsion.

Increasing access to high quality early childhood education, health and family support services for all children in Missouri to ensure Kindergarten readiness and strong life-long outcomes.


Kids Win Missouri’s priorities in this issue area include:

  • Increasing access to quality early childhood programming, especially for at-risk children. For 2018, this priority includes:
    • Permitting school districts to collaborate and contract with child care providers to deliver Pre-K education services. For more information, check out Collaboration is Key, an informational document developed by Youth in Need on how Pre-K collaboration is currently working in districts throughout the state and how the practice can be expanded in Missouri; and
    • Maintaining and expanding funding for evidence-based home visitation programs.
  • Adopting a state Early Education Quality Improvement Program (EEQIP). For 2018, this priority includes:
    • Securing funding for and the extension of the Early Learning Quality Assurance Report pilot program. For more information, check out the Quality Matters, an informational document which was developed by SouthSide Early Childhood Center on what adopting EEQIP means for Missouri.

Striving to secure quality medical, dental and mental health care access for children and families so they have the opportunity to be healthy and happy.


Kids Win Missouri’s priorities in this issue area include:

  • Maintaining and expanding access to quality health care for children and families.
  • Curbing the misuse of psychotropic medications of youth in foster care by supporting policies that ensure youth are given the safest appropriate treatment.
  • Monitoring policies that address Missouri’s opioid epidemic, advocating from a neonatal and child perspective, emphasizing thoughtful rather than punitive responses.

Ensuring Missouri’s public policies will provide opportunities that support families to attain economic security & stability.

Assuring Missouri’s revenue structure will support investments in services that help children & families to succeed and thrive.


Kids Win Missouri’s priorities in this issue area include:

  • Supporting policies to modernize Missouri’s tax code in order to ensure that Missouri has adequate revenue to invest in critical services and tax credits that benefit children and families. Support opportunities to invest new revenues in services for children and families.
  • Enacting a state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The Missouri Budget Project has a primer on how an EITC will bolster Missouri’s middle class and the Clark-Fox Policy Institute and the Center for Social Development at Washington University has an EITC Policy Brief that examines how enacting a state EITC will impact working families in Missouri. 
  • Maximizing the receipt of federal TANF and CCDF funding and direct funding toward services that benefit children and families.

Assuring all Missouri youth have access to quality education and out-of-school supports and opportunities so that they are prepared to succeed in life and ready to positively contribute to our state.


Kids Win Missouri’s priorities in this issue area include:

  • Develop a landscape of Missouri’s workforce development eco-system to explore actors involved, possible gaps and potential opportunities.
  • Include afterschool, summer learning and other wraparound services in the newest iteration of the Missouri School Improvement Plan (MSIP).
  • Support allowing workforce professionals the opportunity to obtain teaching certification through an alternative process.

Access Missouri KIDS COUNT data to spark collaboration, inform policymaking and help your community make sound investments.


Kids Win Missouri recently held listening sessions on child well-being throughout Missouri. Below is a summary of the feedback received at the sessions as well as a matrix containing the comments provided by session participants.