ARCHS' Pre-K/Early Childhood Programs
Funders: State of Missouri Department of Social Services and Children's Trust Fund of Missouri.
ARCHS is a leading supporter of new and expanded child care programs in the region - assuring that infants are placed in safe and learning-focused environments while their parents work or attend school.
ARCHS’ supported programs are also an economic boom to the region creating jobs and millions of dollars in small business development from downtown to St. Charles.
Due to State of Missouri budget cuts, ARCHS' Start Up and Expansion and Accreditation programs are not currently being funded. NO RFPs are planned to be issued through June 2013. If circumstances change, ARCHS will post information on this website.
ARCHS' Pre-K/Early Childhood Care and Education Programs focus on:
-Accreditation of Child Care Programs
-Technical Assistance and Professional Development for Child Care Programs: ARCHS' Annual Early Childhood Institutes (Fall and Spring at Harris-Stowe State University), St. Louis Community College Scholarships, Emotional Beginnings Courses, For Teachers, by Teachers Trainings, Leadership/Mentoring, Stengthening Families, Teach and Take Programs and more.
ARCHS' partnership with the Children's Trust Fund of Missouri (CTF) provided 1,200 books in February to more than 50 families in the St. Louis area. Families selected for book donations were part of ARCHS' Home Visitation Program, formerly known as the Stay at Home Parent Program).
The ARCHS' Home Visitation Program works to promote positive parent child interactions. To help achieve this, the book donations give the parent and child an opportunity to spend quality one-on-one time and is considered a best practice to help prepare children for school.
"Reading with children from birth helps children learn the sounds of language, stimulates their imagination, and introduces them to the world around them," said Amber Stevenson-Donnelly, ARCHS' Vice President of Grant Management Services.
The goal of the grant from the Children's Trust Fund is to promote programs across Missouri that help reduce the likelihood children will become the victims of abuse or neglect.
"For families in high-stress situations, reading can offer a break from the chaos around them as they take 15 minutes out of their day to pause and spend time with each other sharing pictures, sounds, stories, and adventures in books given to them from ARCHS," Stevenson-Donnelly said.
Once again, ARCHS has demonstrated its early childhood expertise by assisting Kids World North childcare center to achieve National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Accreditation.
ARCHS has helped more than 20 area childcare centers achieve accreditation - an important recognition by state and national accreditation boards to establish and maintain high-quality learning and nurturing environments for children birth to age eight.
"Accreditation means quality care and education to the families that we serve. The surrounding school district has lost their accreditation, so parents like that fact that at least they have the opportunity to place their child in an early care facility that has its accreditation," said owner Felicia Cook. "Many of the parents like knowing that they are sending their children to a center where the teachers have education, a set curriculum and teaching has a purpose. We also give parents access to high quality childcare in a low income area."
Additionally, over the past four years, ARCHS has helped 21% (26 centers) of all currently accredited programs in St. Louis City/County and St. Charles County to achieve accreditation status
With a strong commitment to early childhood care and education over the past two years, ARCHS has helped 20 area childcare centers achieve accreditation - an important recognition by state and national accreditation boards as establishing and maintaining high-quality learning and nurturing environments for children birth to age eight.
Additionally, over the past four years, ARCHS has helped 21% (26 centers) of all currently accredited programs in St. Louis City/County and St. Charles County to achieve accreditation status.
Recently, Training Up a Child Development Center in St. Louis achieved Missouri Accreditation. Over the past year, ARCHS provided strategic technical assistance and professional development support to Training Up a Child as they completed the accreditation process.
"We were blessed to have ARCHS be a part of our team to reach this goal. As a director, I can truly say, the expertise and financial support ARCHS gave to us was the only way we were able to reach accreditation," said owner Kebra Henderson.
"ARCHS prepared us by helping our teachers receive the educational credentials, providing training classes to administration, and supporting us with a mentor the entire way through until the finish line. They assisted us with resources and books, toys, outdoor play equipment - to meet the indicators for a quality care environment."
Through ARCHS' Accreditation Program, childcare center grantees received on-site training and technical assistance, professional development support, and funds to support quality improvement efforts
ARCHS' Educare is proving to be more and more valuable to families who rely on child home care providers as a recent CNNMoney report says it will cost parents $8,000 more to raise a child born in 2011. That's a 2 percent increase from the previous year, according to CNNMoney.
Missouri ranks 27th in the United States with 11.6 percent of a (two parent) household income going towards child care. As CNNMoney points out, this is the one cost that consumes the most of a family's income.
"So for single parents, it's even worse," said Amber Stevenson-Donnelly, ARCHS' Vice President of Early Childhood Programs. "Home-based child care is much more affordable to families as many are turning to a friend, family member, or neighbor to watch over their child or children during the day."
ARCHS' Educare provides support to 75 home-based child care providers in Franklin County, Jefferson County, St. Charles County, St. Louis City/County, and Washington County. Educare provides training and technical assistance to unregulated child care home providers, who receive personalized education, such as the home safety checklist and Emotional Beginnings curriculum. On-site consultations are provided by ARCHS' staff on how to improve the quality of child care programs.
In Missouri, home-based child care providers are not required to be licensed, or earn the 12 hours of training annually that licensed providers receive