Policy Priorities

What Happens Early in Life Lasts a Lifetime!

Science confirms what is intuitive: when children have positive and nurturing experiences and interactions, build and strengthen core life skills, and can grow up free from toxic stress and environments, they have the greatest opportunity for healthy brain development and the chance to thrive throughout their lives.  

Investing in high-quality care and education in the first years of children’s lives can help prepare them for success in school and throughout their lives. But many children and families in Missouri don’t have access to the opportunities that can help ensure they get a strong start.  



"All children deserve high quality care and early education experiences and all families should have affordable options to access this level of care, no matter where they live or their income."
Robin Phillips
CEO, Child Care Aware (R) of Missouri

To ensure kids have strong starts, we work to increase 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.

Early Learning

Nobel prize-winning economist James Heckman, drawing on a 40-year study of individuals who received quality care and education during their first five years, documented the impacts of return of early childhood investments, concluding that expenditures in early childhood education decrease K-12 expulsions and suspensions, decreased substance abuse, and fewer incarcerations.  At the same time, the likelihood of college attendance, success in employment, and health outcomes all improved for these individuals. 

Family Education and Supports

Research shows that evidence-based home visiting programs for pre-natal through age five children improve maternal and newborn health; reduce child injuries, child abuse, neglect or maltreatment and reduce emergency room visits. Family education and support programs also improve school readiness and achievement, reduce domestic violence, improve economic self-sufficiency, and improve coordination and referrals to other community resources and support for families.

"As a first-time mom, I had questions about pregnancy, delivery, and life after my baby arrived. The information Lauren brought me was amazing. It was overwhelming at times, but she delivered information and resources to me that I not only practiced but also passed along to other first-time moms. Having a registered nurse working directly with me and available to me when I had questions or concerns was invaluable to my family."
Asia Collins-Muhammad
Nurse Family Partnership Graduate

Our Early Care and Education Work

Our Roadmap to Strengthen Child Care

Over fall and winter of 2020, Kids Win Missouri surveyed and convened stakeholders to develop a comprehensive roadmap to help our state's leaders build a high-quality, comprehensive and equitable child care system that best serves children, families, and child care professionals. Missouri's Roadmap for Child Care was made possible by a visioning process that included hundreds of parents, partners, educators, program owners, and other leaders. This workgroup put in hours of work over several weeks to discuss, craft, edit, and disseminate this cohesive vision. We'd love your feedback on the Roadmap. You can share your thoughts through this survey.

Home Visiting Coalition

Kids Win Missouri leads a coalition of families, home visitors, home visiting programs, regional home visiting collaboratives and state administrators. The coalition is working to identify shared principles and develop and advance a common vision for home visiting in Missouri. Join the coalition to get involved.

Supporting Pre-K Education

We're continuing our work supporting schools and communities in securing the resources they need to ensure three- and four-year-olds can get access Pre-K education. Sign up for our email updates to stay informed.