In 2012, a ban was placed on having a quality rating system for child care providers in Missouri. Since then, Missouri became the only state in the country without a rating system for child cares. The implications are that the state misses out on significant federal funding opportunities and parents are not able to accurately assess the quality of care their children receive at child care centers.
For example in 2014, the state was not able to compete for a $63.8 million preschool development grant from the US Department of Education. Furthermore, parents state that they are forced to use social media such as YELP to gauge the quality of care at local child care providers.
The good news is that in May 2016, Senate Bill 638 was approved to lift the ban on child care quality rating systems and begin a voluntary three-year pilot period. This bill was later signed by Governor Nixon in June 2016. The law went into effect in August 2016 and state departments are working to develop the rating system for release in 2018.
This will open opportunities for Missouri to apply for and receive millions in federal funding for early childhood education. For parents, it will mean the creation of an objective and standardized rating scale which can be used to compare local child care providers with. The existence of a quality rating system will not only rate the quality of providers, but also provide the incentives to encourage providers to improve on their service quality. For early childhood education, this will raise the overall quality of care in Missouri and allow more children to receive the experiences essential to their long-term development.
Having a quality rating and improvement system in place for early child care providers is important for three main reasons.
Child care providers are usually evaluated in 4 key areas: Staff Qualification & Training, Teaching Practices & Early Learning Programming, Family Engagement, and Child Health & Wellness. How your center chooses to use HiMama will vary based on the unique circumstances of your community, families, educators and attending children. However, we’ve provided some guidance on how HiMama will assist your early childhood program in improving the quality of care offered and achieve a higher rating.
|KEY AREAS OF CARE||HIMAMA APPLICATION|
|Staff Qualification & Training||
|Teaching Practices & Early Learning Programming|
|Child Health & Wellness|
HiMama makes documentation and reporting of children’s learning and development in alignment with Missouri Early Learning Standards quick and easy so that educators can spend less time on documentation and paperwork and more time with children. Learn how HiMama can help you align to Missouri's upcoming quality guidelines without all the paperwork and late nights.