State Auditor Tom Schweich (R) said the Early Childhood Development, Education and Care Fund provided more than $170,000 to three child care facilities that failed to open or expand their facilities as planned.
The Missouri House has approved a measure intended to block rating systems from being used at child care centers and preschools.
The child care measure passed Tuesday is tied to legislation that also would create a dedicated funding stream for state veterans' homes. Both items have been at the center of a legislative logjam that so far has prevented the state's $24 billion budget from passing.
Thousands of Missouri children could be dropped from state-subsidized child care under a budget plan embraced by a Senate committee.
The Senate Appropriations Committee has backed a cut of about $7 million in federal and state funds that help subsidize child care for low-income working parents. The committee also rejected a $5 million state funding increase that the Department of Social Services deems necessary to maintain the current level of child-care subsidies.