Here at United 4 Children, we are building the future one child at a time. We believe youth violence, child neglect, abuse and learning delays can be reduced through early childhood intervention and afterschool programming. We supply better life outcomes for children by providing preventative services to childcare and afterschool programs.
Building a future where all children are given every opportunity to achieve educational and life success regardless of their challenges.
United 4 Children was founded in 2012 through a marriage of St. Louis for Kids and Child Day Care Association. Driven by a mission to improve the social-emotional, physical, and cognitive well-being of children by enriching the knowledge of families, teachers, and caregivers, U4C creates safe places to learn and play and provides inclusive services for children with special needs or challenging behaviors. All our work is guided by our core values: community, trust, empathy, and equity. We strive to meet community needs where other resources don’t exist, and build relationships through aligning shared values, creating equitable partnerships, and meeting our commitments.
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. In 2004, St. Louis for Kids continued its efforts after citizen forums identified afterschool programs were critical and needed to be changed when 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 childcare 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.
- CDCA was founded in 1969 as a result of the deep interest of a number of childcare center directors in establishing a central organization for child care support. United Way agreed to fund the CDCA charge (within 2 years, we would develop a system of performance standards which all United Way childcare centers would be required to meet.) The CDCA became the only social service agency created by United Way.
- Within the two year period, the quality standard criteria became the foundation for Missouri Accreditation standards, Missouri’s first accreditation model.
- In 1970, CDCA developed the Division of Family Services Title XX contract.
- In 1980, representatives of the United States Department of Agriculture approached CDCA to assume the role of being a sponsoring agency for Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). We continue to serve programs in Missouri and Illinois.
- In the mid 1980’s, CDCA began to offer enhanced referral services to families with children with special needs who needed child care.
- In 1995, CDCA developed a model of inclusion service that combined family referrals and support with training on-site, child-specific support for childcare centers and homes that were including children with special needs.
- In 2000, St. Louis for Kids was created due to the growth of community efforts to address the problems with youth violence.
- In early 2000’s, St. Louis for Kids implemented afterschool resources to provide information, technical assistance and advocacy for children who needed a place to go afterschool.
- In 2012, United 4 Children was founded from a merger of St. Louis for Kids and CDCA.
- From 2012 to present, United 4 Children provides high-quality support afterschool programs and childcare programs. This includes providing safe places afterschool while families are working, healthy meals, social-emotional coaching for challenging behaviors, quality training for providers and teachers and inclusion services for special needs or challenging behaviors.