Parents and Child Care Providers are Encouraged to Become Involved in Missouri’s Child Care Rules

 Parents and Child Care Providers are Encouraged to Become Involved in Missouri’s Child Care Rules

Missouri’s parents and child care providers are invited to share their thoughts this June in a series of focus groups that will assist the department with drafting and promulgating new rules for group homes and child care centers. The Section for Child Care Regulation will develop new rules that will include current best practices to improve the protection of children in child care and reduce their risk of injury, abuse and communicable disease.

According to Cindy Hudson, administrator of the department’s Section for Child Care Regulation, Missouri has not revised the rules since 1991. “We want Missouri parents to feel comfortable leaving their children in licensed child care centers, knowing that the centers are required to follow the most appropriate health and safety rules,” Hudson said.

The Section for Child Care Regulation licenses 1,993 child care centers and 188 group homes in Missouri. It also provides technical assistance to providers on meeting regulatory standards of care. Soon, it will unveil a new Web site that informs parents and the public about inspection information for regulated child care providers in the state, similar to the department’s Show-Me Long-Term Care site for nursing homes.

For now, parents and the public are invited to give input on how to improve Missouri’s child care rules at six statewide focus group meetings in June. The dates, times and locations follow:

Monday, June 2, 2008 – Kansas City

7:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Holiday Inn

4011 Blueridge Cutoff

Tuesday, June 3, 2008 – Springfield

7:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Ozark Technical College

815 North Sherman (211 Lincoln Hall)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008 – Columbia

7:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Boone Electric Community Room

1413 Rangeline St.

Thursday, June 5, 2008 – Cape Girardeau

7:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Southeast Missouri State University

Dempster Business Building Room 124

One University Plaza MS 5800

Saturday, June 7, 2008 – St. Louis

9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

St. Louis Community College at Florissant

Valley Multipurpose Room

3400 Pershall Road

“Children are our most precious resource because they represent the future of our state,” Hudson said. “We really encourage the public to attend these meetings.”