We believe that all children deserve a strong foundation to thrive regardless of race, zip code or ability. We meet caregivers where they are, assess, train, coach, and empower them with the knowledge and skills necessary to ensure that children feel safe, are nourished, and are nurtured with social-emotional and inclusive services.
Children without access to quality Early Childhood Education (ECE) can suffer from developmental delays, unaddressed adverse childhood events, negative social interactions, excess conflict, lack of self-regulation as well as a lack of kindergarten-readiness. These social-emotional and academic foundations are linked to major life outcomes including academic attendance, educational attainment, job readiness/attainment, earning potential, healthy relationships, and incarceration.
United 4 Children leads a coalition of community alliances and partnerships striving to create more equitable ECE options for families in Missouri and Illinois. Our focus is on addressing the severe shortage of educated and skilled ECE providers in the St. Louis metro area.
There are a number of key factors contributing to that shortage, including:
1) Lack of quality pay for early childhood educators, which results in high turnover for staff in childcare centers.
2) Lack of quality standards for early childhood educators, including minimal state or local standards dictating education and/or training requirements for early childhood educators
3) A looming knowledge gap about the importance of early childhood education amongst parents, providers, and the broader community.
United 4 Children has three long-term goals:
1) To increase the number of educated and skilled ECE providers in the St. Louis metro area in order to ensure that every child from birth to third grade has access to high quality early childhood education,
2) To close the knowledge gap on the importance of ECE amongst parents, educators, and the broader St. Louis community, and
3) To serve as part of a coalition that holds all ECE providers in the St. Louis metro area to the highest standards of quality for children’s social-emotional development.