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 .

"It's not regulated, and in the State of Missouri, you just have to have a Tuberculosis test and be 18 years old. So you have someone watching children that may not have a vast amount of experience in watching children, or is fully licensed," Donnelly said. "That's why ARCHS' Educare is so important. We are the only training out there specifically designed to support the registered, unlicensed child care providers. We are their only resource."

ARCHS' staff go into the Eduare home a minimum of one time per month and deliver training specifically designed to meet that provider's needs. Educare providers also attend support group meetings, and receive materials to replicate what they learn in those meetings back at their homes.

More importantly, those minimum 12 hours of trainings Educare providers receive through ARCHS' staff put them on par with the 12 hours a licensed child care provider is required to receive.

In St. Louis City and County, there are 280 licensed home care providers, while in comparison, there are 906 registered home care providers.

"In tough economic times, ARCHS' Educare is helping to provide families with both a reliable and affordable means to care for their children during the day," Donnelly said.