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The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), Office of Childhood has awarded three grants valued at $4 million to ARCHS to strategically support early educators working with infant and toddler children as well as preschoolers. ARCHS will partner with United 4 Children to create three new regional collaborative networks:

•    Home-Based Child-Care Collaborative Network
•    Infant Toddler Child Care Collaborative Network
•    Preschool Child Care Collaborative Network

The collaboratives will operate in a cohort model, working with early educators to achieve goals through coaching, training, and connections to resources during either a 3-month or 6-month period.

ARCHS has been funding and strategically enhancing early childhood initiatives for the past 25 years in partnership with the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Missouri Department of Social Services.

“This is the largest investment ever by the state of Missouri for early childhood professional development in the St. Louis region. ARCHS and United 4 Children will collaborate to implement, manage, and enhance these innovative programs,” said ARCHS’ Chief Executive Officer Wendell E. Kimbrough.

“We are excited to see such a strong state investment in supporting early learning and early educators in the St. Louis area. These programs will provide regional support to early childhood educators to help build the preschool to promise pipeline and ensure that children enter Kindergarten safe, healthy, and ready to learn,” said United 4 Children Executive Director Deanna Finch.

ARCHS and United 4 Children have a long-standing history of providing strategic on-site consulting and technical assistance for early educators. The organizations have collaborated more than 10 years to provide leadership and business training that enhances the region’s early childcare workforce.