As a child care provider, you want to provide the best care for the families and children you serve. We can help you do that! We Can:
- Help you find training and education opportunities, as well as, help you find resources to pay for your education
- Answer your questions about quality care
- Connect you with other providers and resources in your community
- Provide your program with on-site assistance
- Offer you a variety of resources through our lending library
Improving the Quality of your program
Improving your program means improving the quality of care that children receive and taking a step toward professionalism. There are many ways for you to begin the steps to improve the quality of your program.
The first step to improved quality is to become a licensed provider. The Section for Child Care Regulation (SCCR) through the Department of Health and Senior Services provides programs with a basic set of standards to operate your program under. If you want to take the steps to be licensed or have questions about licensing visit the SCCR website. If you are a new program check Child Care Aware of Missouri can help! For ideas on how to get started download our Start Up Information.
Furthering your education also improves the quality of care you provide. Knowledge is power and by gaining critical knowledge in child development, curriculum and other areas that pertain to what you do each day make a difference. Ways to further your education include
- Taking regular workshops on a variety of topics. To learn more about trainings that are available to you, click here. Many workshops are also available ONLINE.
- Earn A Child Development Credential (CDA, the most widely recognized credential in early childhood education and a key stepping stone on the path of career advancement. For more information visit the Council for Professional Recognition.
- Earn an advanced degree. Many colleges in Missouri offer early childhood degrees. To locate a college near you check out The Directory of programs below.
Serve All Children! Caring for children with disabilities in your early childhood program can be one of the most rewarding and challening experiences of your career. Inclusive programs are dedicated to giving the best early care and education possible to ALL children by making sure every child, including children with disabilities or special needs feel welcome and important. Check out our information on Inclusion to learn more.
Become Accredited! Accreditation is a set of standards that programs voluntarily choose to meet. These standards cover all aspects of the program from curriculum and learning environment to program management. Check out our information on accreditation to learn more.
Build a network of Supports! There are many programs available to support child care providers and early childhood / youth professionals. Resources are available to support your programs financially, improve the education of staff, network with others similar to your program and keep you updated on all the latests information and practices for children and youth. Check our our additional resources section to get you started or visit our links page.
Child Care Aware® of Southern Missouri offers a wide range of clock-hour workshops for child care providers.
Visit the Missouri Workshop Calendar and sign up today!
Clock Hour Workshops Include (MANY AVAILABLE ONLINE!!!!):
Basic Knowledge Curriculum Early Childhood (BKC-EC): This 14 module curriculum has been designed to give child care and early learning professionals the knowledge to be successful when caring for children. Each of the 14 modules is three clock hours and topics include Keeping Children Healthy, Understanding the Whole Child, Creating a Welcoming Environment, Professionalism, and much more.
Basic Knowledge Curriculum Youth Development (BKC-YD): Designed for the professional that is caring for school age children and youth this 14 module curriculum supported by Child Care Aware of Missouri and Missouri's Afterschool Network covers a variety of topics including: Protecting Children and Youth, Youth Development, Providing Individual Guidance for Youth and much more.
Inclusion Curriculum: A Place for all Children: This new 14 module curriculum offers participants a variety of topics on including all children in your program. Topics cover Emotional Intelligence, Embracing Diversity, Starting Right with Families, Laying the ground work for Inclusion and much more.
Social Emotional Child Care Orientation Training (SE CCOT): Designed to give child care and early learning professionals foundational knowledge of social/emotional development and to help them be successful when caring for infants and young children through their social and emotional growth.
Basic Knowledge Curriculum Infant Toddler (BKC IT): This Training is hot off the presses! Five new modules for a total of 10 hours with topics on the development of infants and toddlers, recognizing and preventing abuse and neglect of infants and toddlers, understanding temperament and communication of infants and toddlers, as well as, understanding the components of high quality care for infants and toddlers.
Other topics available upon request. For more information email the Training Coordinator.
Missouri's Department of Health and Senior Services now allows providers to receive their clock hours online! We can help you find approved trainings.
Online Clock Hour Training
Child Care Aware® Training Academy can provide you with your CDA training and CDA renewal training in one easy place at a price you can afford (CEUs Included) or just take a class if you are not working toward your CDA. Many topics available.
Other online options include:
A measure of Quality that touches the lives of children and their families.
- Offer a safe and healthy environment
- Build positive and nurturing relationships between children and adults
- Direct children's social development through positive guidance
- Create a challenging curriculum so children can learn through play and hands on learning experiences
- Offer respect to the staff as professionals
- Communicate with families and build bridges between home and school
- Can earn additional dollars for children who receive child care subsidies
Becoming Accredited is:
Becoming Accredited is an exciting adventure for early childhood programs. It is also an adventure that is not always easy and requires a commitment of all staff. Choosing the RIGHT accreditation system for you is a big deal. Your success in making it through accreditation successfully depends on it!
How to Choose which Accreditation System is right for you:
- Investigate ALL your options! Each system is a little different and one may fit your program better over the others.
- Contact the program personally. How is their customer service? Does the agency answer questions in a timely fashion? Is their website easy to use? Do they have any discounts or scholarships to help you financially?
- Ask around! Find other programs who went through each system and ask them how their experience was. Was it good? Was it bad? Would they do it again?
Currently providers who achieve accreditation and accept state subsidy reimbursements for families can recieve an Enhanced Rate in addition to what they already receive for their hard work and dedication to furthering the quality of their program. Accreditation Systems Approved by the Missouri Department of Social Services for Enhancement Rates include:
An inclusive program is one that consists of children with and without special needs taking part in the same routines and play activities. A child is considered to have special needs when they require enhanced care. This could include a child with asthma or allergies, a behavior issue (including biting), ADHD, medical issues or a variety of other considerations. Caregivers in an inclusive program learn to recognize each child's strengths and needs. They make creative changes to routines and other activities so that ALL children can be successful.
What is inclusive ChildCare?
Inclusion Support for Providers Check out these great inclusive links!
Judavine Center for AutismMissouri First Steps
Autism Speaks - 100 Day Kit for Newly Diagnosed FamiliesDown Syndrome Group of the OzarksChild Care Law Center
Tips for talking to families about their child with special needs:
- Talk to the families and learn about the child's disabilities. Ask them to supply you with specific information if possible (ask this question only after you have determined if you have a spot available for the child*).
- With parents consent, consult specialists (pediatrician, social worker, therapists, inclusion specialist, public health nurse) that are already working with the family.
- Be open to new ideas and suggestions.
- Be willing to participate in the child's care plan.
Additional Provider Resources
Update your information online
Child Care Aware® of Missouri now offers program the opportunity to update their information and vacancies online, as well as, upload pictures to help families get a quick view of the program when they receive their referrals. For more information visit the Child Care Aware® of Missouri website.
Do you have a family who is currently serving in active military duty?
Child Care Aware® of Southern Missouri now offers a program to help military families pay for care. Email our Military Referral Coordinator for more information.
First Children’s Finance offers loans for child care providers and assists them with their financial needs
Check out our Grant and Loan page for potenial funding opportunities!
T.E.A.C.H. MISSOURI offers Educational scholarship opportunities for Providers. Obtain financial assistance with earning your CDA, Associates Degree or Bachelor’s Degree
Child Care Food Program
Participate in the Child Care Food Program to help reimburse food costs.
Family Child Care Homes and Group Homes
Child Care Centers