Mo. Gov. Parson announces consolidation of several early childhood programs into Office of Childhood

Mo. Gov. Parson announces consolidation of several early childhood programs into Office of Childhood
The governor announced the new office during his State of the State Address on Wednesday. (Source: Bill Koplitz / FEMA)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KFVS) - Governor Mike Parson held a news conference on the new Office of Childhood at 3 p.m. on Thursday, January 28.

The new office will be housed by Departments of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).

It’s goal is to provide a comprehensive approach to early childhood care and education.

It includes all state programs related to child care, home visiting, early learning, and early intervention.

Press Conference on New Office of Early Childhood

Press Conference on New Office of Childhood

Posted by Governor Mike Parson on Thursday, January 28, 2021

The governor announced the new office during his State of the State Address on Wednesday.

Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Margie Vandeven, Department of Health and Senior Services Director Dr. Randall Williams and Department of Social Services Acting Director Jennifer Tidball joined Parson at the conference.

“Missouri families deserve the best early childhood system our state can provide,” Governor Parson said. “This is also a critical area of workforce development for our state. We must see to it that the workforce of tomorrow starts off on the right foot, and that means better support for Missouri children and their families.”

The Office of Childhood will consist of around 145 employees across the state.

No state employee positions are being removed due to this.

Current funding will remain unchanged for the programs involved including private child care providers and public schools.

The Office of Childhood will have an estimated Fiscal Year 2022 budget of approximately $660 million.

Governor Parson signed Executive Order 21-01 on Jan. 28, officially establishing the new office.

It will take effect on August 28, 2021, unless disapproved by the state legislature within 60 days.

Copyright 2021 KFVS. All rights reserved.