Missouri has awarded an additional $4.2 million in grants to improve facilities at six child care centers around the state.
Gov. Jay Nixon is touting the funding through the Department of Economic Development as part of what he calls the "Missouri Start Smart" initiative to expand access to early childhood education.
The money will help expand three preschool facilities in the St. Louis area, one in the Macon area in northern Missouri, and one each in the Calhoun and Polo school districts in western Missouri:
- St. Martin's Child Center - Ferguson-Florissant School District; $1,089,000 in funding through the Neighborhood Assistance Program to assist the St. Martin's Child Center in Berkeley in adding 5,000 square feet to its existing facility in order to serve 50 additional children, including 18 slots set aside for children with special needs.
- The I. Jerome and Rosemary Flance Early Childhood Education Center at Murphy Park - St. Louis Public Schools; $367,000 in funding through the Neighborhood Assistance Program to help Urban Strategies Inc. develop the Flance Center, a new 23,864-square-foot pre-K facility that will serve up to 154 children.
- Community Child Development Center - Macon R-1, Bevier C-4 and Atlanta C-3 school districts. $353,037 in funding through the Neighborhood Assistance Program to help expand an existing pre-K facility by an additional 2,400 square feet to serve an additional 18 children.
- Polo R-VII Education Foundation - Polo R-VII School District (Caldwell County). $981,875 in funding through a Community Development Block Grant and the Neighborhood Assistance Program to construct a 4,000-square-foot pre-K facility to replace a temporary leased facility, and serve an additional 35 children.
- Favored Foundation for Strengthening Families (Good Shepherd Early Learning Center) - St. Louis Public Schools. $600,000 in funding through the Neighborhood Assistance Program to help construct a 6,208-square-foot pre-K facility to accommodate 52 children.
The latest grants raise the total to $7.1 million so far this year.