Investing in EARLY CHILDHOOD development for all children in St. Louis

Children enter the world ready to learn, and our role as a community is to ensure that they are able to do so in safe, nurturing, and supportive environments. Since most brain development occurs before age 5, what happens during a child’s early years affects his or her physical, emotional, cognitive, and social development and has life long effects. A positive and stimulating environment can nurture this growth. Stress or neglect can disrupt it.

In the St. Louis area, an estimated 16,000 African American children under 6 live in poverty, limiting their families’ access to quality, affordable child care. Young people from low-income or high-risk backgrounds who attend high-quality preschool programs are more likely to graduate from high school, own homes, and earn higher incomes than those who don’t attend such programs. There are steps we can take to improve early childhood development for all children.



Early Childhood

Increase quality of early childhood programming and increase knowledge and utilization of existing resources.


  • Improve the capacity of early care and education providers
  • Increase access for the most vulnerable children
  • Define quality standards to be measured
  • Develop a business plan

Download resources for EARLY CHILDHOOD.

Want to dive deeper into the issues and find out how you can help? Below is a collection of resources on EARLY CHILDHOOD.