How Child Care Aware® of Missouri Assists Families with Early Childhood Education Needs

Interviewing daycares is not a task any parent undertakes lightly. It can be a confusing and challenging time for families as they try to decipher between the different types of facilities, payment assistance options, and learning modalities that each facility offers.

Whether you’re looking for a daycare in Ballwin, MO, a St. Louis County daycare, or a child care facility anywhere in the state, we’re here with you to find the perfect early childhood learning center for your child.

We emphasize parental choice and use our referral service to help connect families to the services they need, where they need them, and when they need them. 

Between our on-the-ground community outreach programs and our resource-filled online repository, you are sure to find the information you need to become a smart child care consumer.

Here we will discuss how to find the right daycare for your family using our website and resources. 

Child Care Aware – Who We Are

Child Care Aware® of Missouri is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, a member of the Child Care Aware® of America network. We focus on delivering services that improve the experience and environment of children in their first 2,000 days. 

We work for four main groups throughout the State of Missouri:

  1.       Families
  2.       Child Care Professionals
  3.       Businesses
  4.       Community Stakeholders

Daycares that Work for Families in St. Louis County, Missouri, and Other Municipalities

When it comes to child care, parental choice is of the utmost importance to us. 

We work diligently to connect families to child care via our referral service.

It’s our goal to ensure you can find daycare services in Ballwin, MO, early elementary education in St. Louis County, Missouri, or whatever specific care service you need, where you need it, when you need it.

In this article, we will discuss portions of our resource-rich website that will assist you in your search for the perfect child care facility for your family.

Our Impact on Child Care Programs

Child Care Aware® of Missouri works with child care businesses and daycares in Ballwin, Missouri, as we do throughout the state. We assist them in accessing resources, attaining professional development opportunities, and aid them with additional knowledge to help improve their interaction with, and in turn, the development of, your children. 

Child Care Solutions for the Workforce

We are a leading partner of Missouri’s Child Care Professional Development System. We provide training to the staff at St. Louis County daycares and at child care facilities in all other counties in the state. 

We also manage the T.E.A.C.H. Missouri scholarship program and implement health and wellness practices within the early childhood education setting. 

We are a champion for enhanced professional development, with your child’s best interest as the desired outcome from these trainings.

Child Care Aware® of Missouri is a Collaborative Community Partner

We engage with legislative and business leaders and community stakeholders to help attain the highest quality early education for young children possible. 

Types of Licensures for St. Louis County Daycares

The sheer volume of daycare types alone is enough to make parents want to recoil with fear.  Not to worry, Child Care Aware® of Missouri will help you find the perfect daycare in Ballwin, MO, or any other town or county in the state. 

Licensed Child Care Center

A licensed child care center is a group of more than 20 children who are cared for at a separate facility. Often, this type of center has children grouped in classrooms by age.  

Licensed Group Child Care

These daycares are groups of 11-20 children either in a separate facility or an area separate from the educator’s living quarters.

Licensed Family Child Care Home

A licensed family child care home of up to 10 children, cared for in the child care educator’s own home. 


A religious organization runs many of these programs. Preschool programs operate no more than 4 hours per day.


Exempt status is for summer camps, schools, and day programs, among others. When six or fewer children are cared for in the child care educator’s own home, the program is also exempt. 

The Difference Between Licensed Programs, License-Exempt Programs, and Exempt Daycares in St. Louis County and all of Missouri

It’s great knowing what each type of daycare center is, but what exactly does all this mean?

Let’s briefly walk through the difference between types of licensure for daycares in Ballwin, Missouri, and the rest of the state.

You can also find all licensing reports for all Child Care Aware® of Missouri referrals, including daycares in St. Louis County and daycares in Ballwin, Missouri.

Licensed Programs

These daycares have routine fire, sanitation, and health inspections, ensuring that the daycare in Ballwin, MO, that you find will always be up to snuff.

Licensed programs also require a licensing inspection and are required to follow Missouri’s child care licensing rules that regard ratios, group sizes, and training.

License-Exempt Programs

These daycares in St. Louis County and elsewhere in Missouri have a routine fire, sanitation, and health inspections (learn more here), but they do not require a licensure inspection.

Additionally, they are not required to follow licensing rules as previously discussed, including ratio, group size, and staff training. 

Exempt Programs

These daycares in Ballwin, Missouri, and the rest of the state, do not have a fire, sanitation, or health inspections overseen by the state. They do not have licensing inspections typically not included in the Child Care Aware databases. 

You will only see Exempt Programs listed in our database if they have met Child Care Aware® of Missouri’s listing standards, including health and safety certification, agreement to use safe sleep practices, and a Family Care Safety Registry background check. 

How Child Care Aware® of Missouri Can Assist You in Finding Quality Daycare in St. Louis County

Finding affordable, reputable child care is a daunting task for any parent or guardian. Ensuring that our children are in safe, capable hands while you are not with them is of the utmost importance. 

Child Care Aware® of Missouri is here to help. We have positively impacted over 10,000 families, 8,000 early childhood educators, and 138,000 children in 2020 alone, making us a distinguished member of Missouri’s early childhood education sector.  

From locating a suitable daycare in St. Louis County to finding resources to assist with payment to questions to ask potential daycares, Child Care Aware® of Missouri has you covered from start to finish.

Resources Child Care Aware® of Missouri Offers

When you navigate our website, you can see how many resource options we offer for finding a daycare in Ballwin, Mo., St. Louis County, or in the entire state of Missouri itself.

In addition to the navigation feature, which we will discuss shortly, we offer a robust online resource center to answer any questions you may have, day or night. 

Child Care Terms

To make an intelligent decision on the right daycare in Ballwin, Missouri, or any other town in Missouri, for your family, you need to know what each daycare offers and what those specific offerings mean. 

We offer users a glossary of sorts on this portion of the site to help parents and caregivers understand the difference between licensure types, child care payment assistance information, child care types, and much more.

If you need to understand what a specific St. Louis County daycare or child care facility anywhere in the state offers but are unsure of the technical jargon, this is where you should check first. 

Child Care Financial Assistance

We include various financial assistance options that you can select from and see if you qualify for, along with the description of each type of assistance option and what it entails. 

You can also click the link to follow and complete your application to see if you qualify.

There is also a link here to reach your D.S.S. Profile Access and links to Military Family Resources and State Payment Assistance.

For example, if you find a daycare in Ballwin, MO, that you’ve fallen in love with but are unsure how to swing the payments, start here first.

Community Resources

Search by category or county, or both! Locate early child care resources, basic essentials, family resources, and more. Start here if you’re new to the area and looking to understand the ins and outs of daycares in St. Louis County, Missouri. 

Explaining Financial Assistance for Daycares in St. Louis County, Missouri

It’s no secret that finding a good daycare in Ballwin, Missouri, or any other town or city in the country is at an all-time high right now. The good news is that Child Care Aware® of Missouri is here to help you understand your financial options.

Parents are often faced with a double-edged sword when it comes to child care. You need to work, so you need to send your child to a daycare, but at the same time, most of your paycheck goes towards those services each week.

Let’s explain what financial options exist and how to determine your eligibility.

  1.     Subsidy

The Missouri Subsidy Assistance System works with Missouri families across the State to help them afford child care. Eligibility is dependent upon family size and income.  Learn more about subsidy assistance in Missouri here.

2.      Sliding Scale

A sliding scale system is utilized within the subsidy system to determine the expense families will pay for St. Louis County daycare (or whichever municipality you reside in), based on family size and income.

3.      Copayment

The Copayment (or co-pay) is the remaining cost of care due to the parents or guardians after subsidy payment and sliding fees are applied. This method of financial assistance is similar to how your co-pay at a doctor’s office works after your insurance pays its portion.

4.      Multi-Child Discount

Not all daycares and child care programs offer a multi-child discount. Still, some daycares in Ballwin, Missouri, St. Louis County, Missouri, and other municipalities will offer a discount for enrolling more than one child — so it’s always worth it to ask!

5.      Income-Based Payment

Some daycares in St. Louis County, Missouri, and elsewhere charge families based on their income. In this method, the individual daycare works with families to determine what they can pay based on income.

6.      Scholarships

Some child care programs have the funding to offer scholarships to children. Eligibility is based on the individual daycare or child care program.

7.      Military Family Resources

For St. Louis County daycares and other counties in the state, there are financial options available to military families and programs to assist children and families of active-duty members and veterans. To learn more about this resource, please call us at 1-800-424-2246 or email us at [email protected].

8.      State Payment Assistance

Visit the Missouri Department of Social Services to check your family’s eligibility and/or apply for financial assistance for daycare in Ballwin, Missouri, daycares in St. Louis County, Missouri, or any other daycare facility that suits your family’s needs.

9.      DSS Profile Access

Click HERE to access your DSS Profile. You can check your subsidy application and case status through this link, update a DVN, and make all other changes to your account. 

Making a Difference in the Early Childhood of Missouri’s Next Generation

Child Care Aware® of Missouri has a special responsibility. We are tasked with educating and building awareness in families, educators, community stakeholders, and local businesses about early childhood learning and best practices. 

For the year 2022, we have four main focus areas for our advocacy which we will briefly discuss below. We encourage parents and guardians of children in daycares in St. Louis County, Missouri, daycares in Ballwin, Missouri, or daycares anywhere else in this great state to learn more about our child care ambassador program!

1.      To Assist Families and Educators in Advocating on Their Own Behalf

We want to spread knowledge to families across the State of Missouri that gives them the power to speak up for themselves when they know something isn’t right. We offer access to our advocacy toolkit, which helps your understanding of what we are speaking up for.

2.      To Engage and Mobilize Key Legislators Who Will Champion Affordable and Accessible Child Care for Families and a Significant Wage Increase for Educators

Our aim here is to advocate for increasing access to early care and education for parents and children. Another key goal is to inform key legislators and policymakers on the importance of increasing workforce compensation and increasing the capacity of daycares in Ballwin, MO, and all other regions of the State. Lastly, we aim to highlight policies and processes to ease the financial burden of child care on families.

3.      To Reduce the Stigma Associated with the Early Childhood Profession

We plan to create and sustain access for early childhood educators to higher education through the T.E.A.C.H. MISSOURI scholarship program and the C.D.A. scholarship program. 

Secondly, we aim to maintain the involvement of decision-makers by elevating the public profile of the child care workforce and wage compensation by disseminating information on the achievements of the early childhood workforce.

4.      To Support the Early Social and Emotional Development of Young Children

We plan to attain this goal by advocating for ongoing financial support and access to higher education and training regarding child safety, health, and well-being.

To address trauma and crisis, we will also increase the awareness of the need for social support networks for children, families, and educators in daycares in St. Louis County, Missouri, and the remainder of the state.

Lastly, we plan to advocate for the physical, social, and emotional well-being of children while under the supervision of child care educators.

Further Information or Assistance in Locating the Perfect Daycare in Ballwin, MO, St. Louis County, MO, or any other Location in the State

Child Care Aware® of Missouri is always available to families for anything they need assistance with.

If you’d like to find more information on our events or donate to Child Care Aware® of Missouri, you can find more information here.

We genuinely hope this article has helped shed some light on the multiple ways Child Care Aware® of Missouri assists families in finding suitable daycare in St. Louis County, Missouri and Ballwin, Missouri. We also hope this has helped you know you’re not in this search alone.

We are here to help you every step of the way. We encourage you to take a look through the links included in this article and our website. For more information, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at any time, and one of our knowledgeable team members will return your message as soon as possible.