History & Mission


United 4 Children improves the social, emotional, physical, and cognitive well being of our children by enriching the knowledge of families, teachers, and caregivers.

United 4 Children envisions a future where all children achieve educational and life success.

United 4 Children considers these four pillars as the foundation of our work as we meet people where they are and guide them to gain skills in the following areas.



United 4 Children is comprised of St. Louis for Kids and the Child Day Care Association.

St. Louis for Kids grew out of community efforts to address the problems of youth violence and delinquency. Founded originally in 1996 as the Regional Violence Initiative, Inc., the St. Louis for Kids name and mission were adopted in 2000. St. Louis 2004 played a key role in forming St. Louis for Kids after its citizen forums identified strong afterschool programs as critical to addressing the issue of youth violence. St. Louis for Kids was charged with meeting a pressing need for a central afterschool resource to provide information, technical assistance and advocacy.

Child Day Care Association (CDCA) was founded in 1969 as a result of the deep interest of a number of child care center directors in establishing a central organization for child care. At the same time the United Way of St. Louis was interested in assuring that high quality standards were in place in child care centers receiving United Way support.

The United Way agreed to fund the CDCA charge; that it would, within two years, develop a system of performance standards which all United Way child care centers would be required to meet. Thus CDCA became the only social service agency created by the United Way.