Be the best there is
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.
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 it makes 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.
- 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.
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.
Get your MOPD ID
A Missouri Professional Development Identification Number (MOPD ID) was developed to be your unique workforce ID in Missouri’s Professional Development System. The MOPD ID is the first step in accessing the MOPD Registry which assists in tracking your professional development in a secure way rather than using your social security number and birth date. To get your MOPD ID visit here.
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 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 an Accreditation System That 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?
Benefits of accreditation
Currently, providers who achieve accreditation and accept state subsidy reimbursements for families can receive an Enhanced Rate in addition to what they already receive for their hard work and dedication to furthering the quality of their program.
What is inclusive child care?
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.
Tips to talking to families about their child with special needs
- Speak with the family 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.
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.