Jefferson City Today, Governor Mike Parson announced $4 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Child Care Plan funding for St. Louis Community College in Forest Park to improve the quality and availability of child care and early education programs.
"Access to quality child care is critical for working families, and attending college is often a full-time job,” Governor Parson said. “With this funding, St. Louis Community College in Forest Park will for the first time be able to offer on-site child care by repurposing existing space into a 15,000 square foot facility that will serve up to 60 children at any given time. This facility will be crucial to ensuring children remain safe and educated while student parents receive training for high-demand jobs.”
“In addition to providing quality child care, this facility will allow students in Early Childhood programs to gain on-site experience that will expand child care options in St. Louis,” said Missouri Department of Social Services Acting Director Jennifer Tidball. “This facility will enable parents on campus to focus on their job or education while their children are learning developmental skills.”
The CARES Act grant announced today is part of Governor Parson’s initiative to fund improvements in the quality and availability of child care and early education programs. The funds help establish or expand on-campus child care centers via a one-time grant to support and strengthen access to safe child care for 20 or more children ages 6 weeks to 5 years of low-income families receiving child care subsidies while parents work or pursue education or training. The grant period runs through October 31, 2021.
In October 2020, five Missouri college campuses were first round grant recipients of over $5 million in funding. The announcement of the second round grant to St. Louis Community College in Forest Park brings the total allocation for the program to nearly $10 million.
Last week, Governor Parson also announced $46 million in child care funding to assist working Missouri families and support child care providers serving their needs.
Missourians in need of information on Child Care Subsidy, Food Stamp, Medicaid, Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefit programs can visit dss.mo.gov.
Missourians can also apply for those services 24/7 online by visiting MyDSS.mo.gov, or sending completed applications and verification documents by email to FSD.Documents@dss.mo.gov, or by fax to 573-526-9400. The Missouri Services Navigator also has information on over 2,800 programs and services in Missouri.
Missourians who have questions not specific to an individual’s case can use the DSS Virtual Assistant for immediate answers to basic questions 24 hours a day. Phone assistance is also available, call 855-FSD-INFO or 855-373-4636 Monday through Friday 6:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.