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15 March 2010

Keaveny: Child Day Care Association Provides Assistance, Guidance

Families with young children know how difficult it is to find quality, affordable child care; it is an even bigger challenge for families who qualify as low-income. We often hear stories of people who don't accept a pay raise at their job because they could lose the financial assistance they need to pay for child care while they are at work.

In Missouri, these numbers from the Partnership for Children are too big to ignore:
  • 259,000 children live in poverty.
  • 123,000 children lack health insurance.
  • 318,000 children are alone after school.
  • 5,000 children are abused and neglected.
  • 310,000 under age six need child care.

Fortunately, the Child Day Care Association of St. Louis (CDCA) addresses the uncertainty that families face when trying to find quality care. The CDCA ensures that child care centers, professionals, employees and employers have the training and knowledge they need to meet high quality standards.  As a one-stop shop for the oversight of child care facilities, the CDCA sends representatives to child care centers so they can observe and consult early childhood programs and provide feedback for parents.  The CDCA offers advice on how to get a child care program started, including information on regulations, how to secure funding and more.

The CDCA also advocates public policies for young children, including care that supports development and healthy environments that have an adequate number of well-trained and professional caregivers.  While their primary goal is to help families find child care that meets whatever needs they have, the CDCA also works to coordinate regional efforts to provide healthy, well balanced meals to children by bridging the gap between child care providers, local farmers' markets and agricultural operations. It's all under the motto of "Good Beginnings Last a Lifetime."

If you know someone who is looking for child care, or if you know someone who is thinking of starting a child care business, please get them in touch with the Child Day Care Association of St. Louis. The main office for the CDCA is located at 4236 Lindell Boulevard, Suite 300. They can be reached at 1-800-467-2322 and they are on the web at

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