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Help Us: Missouri Legislation

Did You Know?

  • One out of every five children in Missouri is living in poverty (259,000). About a third of these very poor children live outside major cities.
  • In Missouri, a child is born into poverty every 41 minutes.
  • The number of homeless children is Kansas City is increasing at a rate of over 20% per year, making children the fastest growing segment of the homeless population. The average age of a homeless person in Kansas City is seven.
  • Over half of the homeless population in Kansas City is comprised of families with children.
  • In 1997, the "street census" of Kansas City identified seven homeless children. By 2008, the number of identified homeless children had exploded to 1,067, an increase of 15,000% in just over ten years.
  • On any given day, one fourth of the children served by Operation Breakthrough are homeless.
  • 100,000 children in Missouri lack health insurance.
  • 12,000 children in Missouri drop out of school.
  • 5,000 children in Missouri are abused & neglected.
  • 310,000 children in Missouri under 6 need child care.

Let Missouri lawmakers know: There are thousands of reasons to make children's issues a top priority for the state!

To help end the cycle of generational poverty Sr. Berta has been advocating in Jefferson City for our children and families. Our focus has been on the Childcare Assistance Program. In order to qualify for Missouri's child care assistance, parents must be either employed or attending school. The ultimate goal of the program is to help working parents obtain and keep a job while advancing toward self-sufficiency while ensuring that their children are well cared for. Missouri currently ranks 49th in the nation for childcare assistance eligibility.

At present, low-income Missouri parents are declining raises and promotions because even the most modest pay increases put them over-income for any type of childcare assistance.

Who Benefits from Missouri's Childcare Assistance Programs?


  • Without childcare assistance, low-income families would be forced to go into debt, return to welfare or make haphazard, unsafe, 'patchwork' childcare arrangements.
  • Without childcare assistance, families are forced to make difficult choices that might include leaving a job to care for their children, spending less money on necessities in order to afford childcare or finding less secure childcare.
  • For children in homeless families, a reliable childcare routine is an island of stability in an otherwise chaotic life.


  • Studies have shown that high-quality, reliable childcare improves parents' on-the-job performance and decreases absenteeism.
  • Receiving childcare subsidies increases the probability of employment for low-income mothers by 15%.


  • Low-income families that receive childcare subsidies are nearly 20% less likely to quit or lose their jobs.
  • Parents who receive childcare assistance are more likely to make a successful transition from dependence on public assistance to full self-reliance.

If you would like more information on our advocacy efforts please call Christine at (816) 329-5215 or email her at

Operation Breakthrough - St. Vincent's Family Service Center
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