July 2023

St. Louis Region 13 Community Leader Approach

Helping area families ensure their children are safe, healthy, and ready to learn!

Ready Communities

The state of MO Office of Childhood is supporting the reality that community is a crucial factor in supporting children's development.

Early Learning Nation says, Did you know that children’s earliest experiences—with their families and caregivers, and in their neighborhoods—establish the foundation for their health, learning and future success? In turn, parents’ and caregivers’ abilities to provide the best possible experiences for young children are influenced by the communities in which they live."

Learn more about how your community can support young children and their families HERE.

Ready Families

Families in need of resources can contact MO ParentLink! MO ParentLink's mission is to effectively engage families to promote optimal development by reducing adverse childhood experiences. They help you connect to the supports and resources you need to succeed and thrive as a family. 

To contact this helpful resource try one of the following navigation options:

  • If you are a Missouri resident, call 800-552-8522. ParentLink uses Language Select to answer calls from families and providers who speak any language.
  • Email [email protected]
  • Send a Text to 585-FAMILY1
  • Send a message on Facebook
  • Submit a question online
  • Visit the ParentLink website.
  • Or visit the ParentLink location at 2800 Maguire Boulevard; Columbia, MO 65211

Community Resource Link is a leading social care network through Healthy Blue that connects individuals and families with free and reduced-cost social services in their communities.

This no-cost “find help” tool connects individuals with identified social drivers of health needs such as access to healthy food, housing, education, employment, utility assistance, and clothing. Social drivers of health are the conditions or environments where people live, learn, work, and more that impact each individual’s health, quality of life, and risks. Click here to use the tool.

Ready Schools

A strategy that the state of MO Office of Childhood and Department of Elementary and Secondary Education uses to help assess for kindergarten readiness is implementing a reliable tool teachers can use to check in on the strengths and needs of each child. This is called the Kindergarten Entry Assessment or KEA.

DESE shared that, "Kindergarten entry assessment (KEA) is a one-time assessment designed to measure a child's skills and behaviors within the first few weeks of entering kindergarten. Using KEA data can help inform teachers and leaders of the number of children who are ready for school overall, as well as support instruction by meeting students where they are when they enter kindergarten."

The currently approved KEA's can be found HERE and are called:

  • Desired Results Developmental Profile for Kindergarten or DRDP-K
  • Kindergarten Observation Form or KOF
  • Brigance Inventory of Early Development III Standardized

All KEA's are administered by the child's teacher and teachers can share information with the child's family. It is important for teachers and families to be in partnership to support each child's developmental needs.

The St. Louis Area Early Learning Landscape (STL-ELL) regional data tool was designed to strengthen data available for decision-making and community planning that will enhance the regional early learning system. There is a visual map available to provide an interactive visual depiction, as well as reports to offer an overview of the data. MARC developed this tool utilizing recent Census and other data related to the early learning landscape in the Greater St. Louis region. Check out the interactive tool here.

Upcoming Activities

July 10

Social-Emotional with Conscious Approach to Discipline For Home Visitors Training: These trainings are FREE to Home Visitors in the state of Missouri. They are funded by MO-DESE through a PDG (Preschool Development Grant).  See all training dates and register here.

July 11

Ages and Stages Questionnaire Training: These trainings are FREE to early childhood professionals in the state of Missouri. They are funded by MO-DESE through a PDG (Preschool Development Grant). Learn more and register today here.


Early Connections

Join the Office of Childhood Email List

Nominate an Educator