Media Contact:

Megan Favignano

Favignanom@united4children.org

314-531-1412 ext. 156

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

United 4 Children to Expand Inclusion, Social-Emotional Services

ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI (April 28, 2021) – The St. Louis County Children’s Service Fund has awarded United 4 Children $122,000 to help the organization ensure children and childcare providers have the social-emotional support they need. This grant will allow United 4 Children, a nonprofit serving childcare providers in Missouri and Illinois, to move toward long-term expansion of its inclusion and social-emotional early childhood services in St. Louis County to reach 5,000 children and youth and 2,500 adults. This new funding will allow United 4 Children to impact more families with children with special needs, developmental delays, or challenging behaviors.

“With the COVID-19 pandemic, children and adults are experiencing new or intensified stress,” explained United 4 Children Executive Director Deanna Finch. “It is our responsibility to surround a child with skilled, resilient adults who can help children and their families build their own resiliency while their children are young.“

United 4 Children provides one-on-one support, coaching, and child-specific consultation for childcare providers learning to provide inclusive care that meets all needs of children. United 4 Children’s programs also provide resources, such as classroom supplies, to holistically improve social-emotional development. With this new funding, United 4 Children will create inclusion-specific Parent Cafés to offer educators and families a space to build relationships, share knowledge, and share resources with each other.

In addition, this grant is United 4 Children’s first concrete support in its endeavor to support the mental health of childcare providers. This past year, United 4 Children has supported providers who experienced hardship as a result of the pandemic, such as struggles to safely open their childcare business, stress around a fluctuation in the number of children using their services, and generally feeling overwhelmed by supporting children with trauma.

“Our children deserve to live happy, healthy, and fulfilled lives full of hope – not more despair. More mental health and social-emotional development supports are needed now to prevent even more unnecessary disparities for our next generation,” Finch said.

United 4 Children is looking for partners who are interested in offering mental health support to childcare providers. Anyone interested should email info@united4children.org.

In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, United 4 Children shifted services to a virtual format, focused on social-emotional learning and trauma-informed practices, and expanded its offerings to include mental health support. This grant funding will further the organization’s impact. United 4 Children was one of 17 local organizations who received this emergency funding. In response to the ongoing public health crisis, The St. Louis County Children’s Service committed $1.4 million across all 17 organizations.

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About United 4 Children

United 4 Children, a nonprofit, provides comprehensive services to childcare and after school programs that address the many needs of the whole child. The organization empowers childcare providers with the knowledge and skills necessary to ensure that children feel safe, supported, and engaged in high-quality, developmentally appropriate activities by qualified and caring adults. United 4 Children strives to meet community needs where other resources do not exist. It is the only Missouri State funded program addressing the federal recommendation of reducing suspension rates through teaching social-emotional skills and inclusive practices. In addition, United 4 Children is an official sponsor of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) for family childcare home providers in both Missouri and Illinois. To learn more, visit united4children.org.

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