Child Safety When Child Care Options Are Limited
With parents and caregivers able to return to work with the easing of stay at home orders in Missouri, families are left in a bind.

About 45% of licensed day care providers closed their doors during the state stay-at-home orders in Missouri, according to Child Care Aware of Missouri . It’s unknown how many of those child care providers will reopen as workers are asked to return to their jobs.

So, families are left to ask for help from teenagers, family members, neighbors, friends or unlicensed providers. This week the #Essential4Kids newsletter will focus on how parents and caregivers can take proactive steps to build safety into their child care choices.

We thank Darkness to Light for the use of their resources for this newsletter.
Tips for Hiring Caregivers

Individual caregivers should have the same safeguards in place as a large childcare center.

For more tips on hiring caregivers click HERE
Minimizing Opportunity for Abuse
If your children have to be around an adult that you don’t know, or know well, make sure that their interactions will:

  • be public or non-isolated,
  • interruptible, and
  • observable as much as possible.

Above all, be clear with both the sitter and your kids what the family rules are so that everyone understands the expectations. For more information on minimizing opportunities for abuse, click HERE
Leave More Thank An Emergency Contact # For Sitters
You leave your number, bedtime routines and food- don't forget body safety. Add this list to your sitter checklist.  This may feel uncomfortable, but it is creating a safer environment for your child and sitter.
House Rules
Hiring a new sitter means going over your rules. 

Intentionally setting your house rules based on your family's values and expectations will create safer environments for your children and sitter.

To learn more about setting "house rules" that reflect your families values and expectations, click HERE .

Take these important steps this week to be #Essential4Kids:

  • Follow Missouri KidsFirst on Facebook, and Twitter to get up to date resources and learn more about taking steps each day during this difficult time to protect the children in your life.

Thank you for being #Essential4Kids!

To learn more, visit: and follow Missouri KidsFirs t on Facebook and Twitter .