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Educare Project REACH

boy outside

About this Project

In 1994, to better understand the nature of childcare in rural Missouri, University of Missouri researchers conducted a needs assessment of 12 rural communities. The findings prompted the development of Project REACH, a pilot program to study the impact of focused services for 115 childcare providers in 17 rural communities. The program’s success and the visible need throughout the state, resulted in the establishment of the Missouri Department of Social Services’ statewide Educare program, a free and voluntary support for those who care for young children receiving state childcare subsidy. Project REACH continues to grow and develop innovative ways to facilitate provider education and improve childcare for low-income families throughout Missouri.

Today, statewide Educare is funded through the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Office of Childhood with the continued mission to support, educate, and provide resources to improve the program quality of child care and early learning programs serving children receiving child care subsidy.

Educare Project REACH does this through:

  • Individualized onsite visits
  • Offering required subsidy health and safety training and technical assistance
  • Monthly get-togethers
  • Activity ideas
  • Safety and basic caregiving items
  • Learning toys and literacy materials
  • Assistance locating community resources
  • Preparation for Health and Safety Monitoring
  • Assistance with the Child Care Business Information Solution (CCBIS)
  • Support for movement towards program licensure

Educare Project REACH support associates live in the counties they serve and understand the unique characteristics of their communities. Support associates have an educational background in early childhood development/education and experience working directly with young children and training adults. Participation in Educare Project REACH is free and voluntary.

Educare Project REACH is coordinated from a central office at the University of Missouri in the Department of Human Development and Family Science, Center for Family Policy & Research.

Useful Resources for Childcare Providers and Families

Child and Adult Care Food Program
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
MO HealthNet
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
Child Care Aware of Missouri
Missouri Early Head Start
MO HealthNet for Families
Women, Infants, and Children
Food Assistance
Missouri Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program

Central Office Support Staff:

Project REACH Support Associates:

Contact Us

Educare Project REACH

(866) 973-2240

University of Missouri
1400 Rock Quarry Rd, Q114C
Columbia, MO 65211
United States