ARCHS has been notified it must suspend two of its most important programs due to State of Missouri budget cuts.
ARCHS’ early childhood Start Up and Expansion and Accreditation support programs will be suspended for the FY2013 (July 1, 2012-June 30, 2013).
The $10 million in FY2013 funding cuts approved by the state legislature ($1.5 million of which would have funded ARCHS' programming) will directly impact ARCHS’ current support of more than 80 area child care programs, serving more than 3,000 children each day – primarily in St. Louis’ urban core.
ARCHS will not be issuing a planned June 2012 request for proposals (RFP) for its early childhood Start Up and Expansion program and its Accreditation program.
At this time, ARCHS anticipates continuation of its successful Educare and Stay at Home Parent programming that support more than 105 area child care programs.
The most recent example of ARCHS’ work to improve the quality of area early childhood programs is the April 2012 national accreditation of the Gingerbread House child care program (shown above). Over the past two years, ARCHS has provided strategic technical assistance and professional development to 15 area child care programs (like Gingerbread House) that have achieved national accreditation and to another 18 programs who became licensed.
In April 2012, ARCHS successfully completed an annual state audit by the Missouri Department of Social Services for its early childhood and after school programs. The audits review all aspects of ARCHS’ financial and programmatic responsibilities, and includes review of thousands of pages of documents and on-site visits to area programs.
ARCHS has a strong track record related to early childhood programs. In fact, many of ARCHS’ early childhood quality improvement processes have been adopted statewide. In 2005, ARCHS was honored with a “What’s Right With the Region” award for its work to improve the quality of child care programs. Members of ARCHS’ senior leadership team have also served on the Missouri Governor’s Pre-K Readiness Panel.
ARCHS will have more information about these cuts in the June 2012 newsletter.
The USDA has again awarded grant funding to Missouri to implement Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer for Children (SEBTC) for the summer of 2012. This summer, the funding will provide benefits for approximately 5,300 children in the Saint Louis Public Schools through ARCHS.
The Saint Louis Public School families selected for SEBTC benefits are in the process of being notified and will receive $60 per month per child in June and July, and a pro-rated amount in May and August based upon the school district’s schedule. With 5,300 children expected to receive benefits this summer, St. Louis area stores and farmer’s markets will redeem over $800,000 in SEBTC benefits. The benefits expire when school resumes in August because children will have free and reduced price meals available during school hours.
All households in the demonstration areas with children from pre-kindergarten to 12th grade who receive free and reduced price meals at school were qualified to be considered for SEBTC. Because this was a demonstration project, some families were randomly selected this spring to receive the benefit and others, who were not selected, will participate in surveys. USDA requires the project to be evaluated each year by a national research firm, resulting in a report to Congress
The ARCHS’ partnership provides adult mentors to juvenile offenders associated with the Missouri Division of Youth Services.
More than 350 early childhood professionals packed Harris-Stowe State University on April 21 to attend ARCHS’ second annual Early Childhood Science and Outdoor Learning Institute. The sold out event provided up to six-clock hours of hands-on-training featuring presentations from such noted organizations as Gateway Greening, Nature Explore, Missouri Botanical Garden, and St. Louis Science Center.
The Institute kicked off ARCHS’ and Harris Stowe’s sponsorship of several “Week of the Young Child” events taking place across the region April 23-27, 2012. ARCHS’ 180 supported child care programs are celebrating the annual event with activities that highlight the importance of early childhood education.
ARCHS' Accreditation Expertise
ARCHS and Harris-Stowe are also celebrating the news that the University’s William L. Clay Sr. Early Childhood Development and Parent Education Center has been accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). ARCHS provided technical assistance and professional development support to the Center as part of the rigorous accreditation preparation, review, and site visit process.
ARCHS helps increase the quality of child care and education programs by providing support to child care programs like those at Harris-Stowe that are going through the accreditation or reaccreditation process.
ARCHS' Academic Partnerships
Harris-Stowe is just one the many colleges and universities ARCHS works with to enhance the more than 400 community partnerships it is engaged in with a focus on lifelong learning.
Information about ARCHS begins on page seven of the report, and describes what information ARCHS tracks and presents to communicate its value and return on investment to funders.
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