1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453) is dedicated to the prevention of child abuse. The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline is dedicated to the prevention of child abuse. Serving the U.S. and Canada, the hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with professional crisis counselors who—through interpreters—provide assistance in over 170 languages. The hotline offers crisis intervention, information, and referrals to thousands of emergency, social service, and support resources. All calls are confidential.
The Children’s Division Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline (CA/NHU) is a toll-free telephone line which is answered seven days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Online reporting is now available for mandated reporters only and should only be used to report non-emergencies.
If it is an emergency or life-threatening situation, call 911 immediately and then report it directly to the Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline.
Reporting child abuse is everyone’s responsibility.
Any person may report suspected child abuse, neglect, or exploitation. Anonymous reports are accept from individuals who are not mandated by occupation to report, but please consider identifying yourself. Being able to contact you later helps the Children’s Division staff complete more thorough investigation. They may also need to ask you for more information during the investigation process.
When making a report, be sure to have the following information:
Name of the child
Name of the parent(s)
Name of the alleged abuser
Where the child can be located
The Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline Unit utilizes Signs of Safety when screening calls. To learn more about Signs of Safety please visit https://www.signsofsafety.net/
You will also be asked:
What are the worrying behaviors that you are calling about today?
What happened to the child/children as a result of the worrying behaviors?
What are you most worried will happen to the child/children if nothing in the family changes
What actions have been taken other than making this call?
Is there anything going on in or around that family that would make this situation more difficult to handle?
What are the best aspects of the adult’s care for the child/children?
What needs to happen differently for you to be confident the children are safe enough?
On a scale of 0-10 where 10 means the child is completely safe right now and 0 means that if no action is taken, the child could be seriously hurt or injured in the next 24 hours, where would you rate this family?
What if I’m not sure it’s abuse or neglect?
You can call the local Children’s Division office to discuss your concerns. They can advise you whether or not to call the hotline. They can also give you advice that might help you help the family in crisis.
Err on the side of over-reporting. If you have the thought, “Maybe I should call…”–DO! Not all calls to the hotline are determined to be abuse/neglect. However, the Children’s Division can often provide services and assistance that can help prevent abuse.
Members of certain occupational groups, such as teachers, social workers, and physicians are mandated by law to make reports to the hotline and are considered mandated reporters. For a complete list of mandated reporters, please review RSMo 210.115.1.
Mandated reporters can report suspected child abuse and neglect by calling the Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline directly, or by making a report online. Online reporting should only be used in non-emergency situations.
Effective August 28, 2004, Missouri law requires all mandated reporters to identify themselves when making a report. For more information, review the guidelines for mandated reporters.
These resources can help you start or run a child care program.
Child Care Aware® of America
Child Care Aware® of America offers access to resources for child care programs. Resources are available to assist you in opening a family child care home or center, operating a family child care home or center, training and other resources. Resources include step by step guides on what to include in your research and action items.
CACFP plays a vital role in improving the quality of care for children through funding healthy foods. CACFP provides aid to child and adult care institutions and family or group day care homes for the provision of nutritious foods that contribute to the wellness, healthy growth, and development of young children, and the health and wellness of older adults and chronically impaired disabled persons.
Healthy Kids, Healthy Future
Encourages child care and early education providers to promote healthy habits for children. Provides tools to implement changes for reducing screen time, providing healthy beverages, increasing physical activity, improving food choices and supporting breast feeding in child care settings.
Office of Child Care
Part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, The Office of Child Care supports low-income working families through child care financial assistance and promotes children’s learning by improving the quality of early care and education and afterschool programs.
Zero to Three
A national, nonprofit organization that informs, trains, and supports professionals, policymakers, and parents in their efforts to improve the lives of infants and toddlers with a mission to promote the health and development of all young children.
Below are the various accrediting bodies recognized in Missouri. The accreditation process involves programs meeting standards that exceed Missouri’s licensing regulations. Each organization has its own set of expectations that programs must reach to earn accreditation status. Families can search for accredited programs by using filters available in the Child Care Aware® of Missouri database. For more information on a particular accreditation type, follow the link provided.
Missouri was the first state to establish and apply quality accreditation standards for programs providing care and education for children. Missouri Accreditation (MOA) works to enhance the physical, social, emotional, and intellectual growth opportunities available to children in early learning and school age programs across Missouri. MOA provides ongoing monitoring, evaluation, and recognition of programs who have met and maintained Missouri Accreditation standards. Accreditation criteria include the areas of children’s relationships and interactions, physical environment, programming and curriculum, family and program connections, administration, as well as health, safety, and nutrition.
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) works to support high-quality, research-based education to provide a solid foundation for all children’s future success by implementing quality-improvement resources, research on best practices, training, and technical assistance to licensed child care centers. NAEYC addresses three core areas within its accreditation process—children, teaching staff and administration, and families and community relationships. In looking closely at these three areas, NAEYC examines the way children are influenced by their educational leadership and family and community relationships. Each piece is evaluated at the NAEYC standard level in order to determine their accreditation achievement.
For over 25 years, the National Association for Family Child Care has worked to promote high-quality early childhood experiences and prioritize access, affordability, and quality of early care and education specifically in the licensed family child care environment. The NAFCC strives for progress in the investment and implementation of the Child Care and Development Block Grant, Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships, and the Child and Adult Care Food Program in the Child Nutrition Reauthorization. Other core focuses include strengthening the early childhood workforce and increasing the availability of high-quality child care in rural communities, for infants and toddlers, and for families who work non-traditional hours.
National Early Childhood Program Accreditation (NECPA) can be applied to family child care and center-based programs who are licensed for seven or more children. It works to improve the quality of early care and education programs. NECPA standards are based on 30 years of research in the area of early care and education. NECPA standards aim to address the whole child by assessing relationships between the child and teacher, the program and family, and the program and the community.
The Commission of Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF® International) works with diverse environments through an accreditation process and ongoing progress review that focuses on improving the lives of the individuals served. CARF works with different health and human service institutions like rehabilitation programs, treatment programs for addiction and substance abuse, home and community services, and retirement living. CARF accreditation requires institutions to meet its standards related to business and service delivery and to commit to ongoing improvement. Accreditation is evaluated annually based on standards set forth collaboratively by professionals and consumers of different viewpoints.
The Council on Accreditation (COA) is an international peer accrediting body that works with human service programs and organizations, including child and youth development programs, to produce high-quality, measurable results focusing on growth, stability, health, and safety. COA considers the consumers, staff, board, and donors, funders, and regulators to be the four key groups to examine when establishing accreditation.
AdvancEd works with early childhood institutions to improve teaching and learning as well as health and safety to better support early learning, growth, and development. It utilizes research-based and evidence-based principles to examine how the policies, practices, learning conditions, and cultural setting work together to reach the program’s vision and meet the needs of every learner. It focuses heavily on a program’s ability to sustain an exemplary commitment to continuous progress and learner outcomes.
One resource is the Child Care Subsidy Program assists eligible parents/guardians with payments for child care in Missouri. The purpose of this program is to help families with the cost of child care so that they are able to focus on finding and holding steady jobs.
The Early Childhood Section of the Children’s Division also helps promote quality and safety in early care and education environments for all Missouri families.
The Department of Social Services (DSS) also partners with local child care providers to offer subsidized care through the Child Care Subsidy Program. Child care providers must be contracted or registered with DSS to receive payment for care provided to subsidy-eligible children.
Early Education and Child Care at Mo.gov
State web site with general information on child care licensing and state related agencies that serve children. There is a link to the state child abuse and neglect hotline.
There is a link to additional information for child care providers regarding licensing, Parents as Teachers, Head Start and First Steps.
Missouri Early Head Start (EHS)
Program provides an early, continuous, intensive, and comprehensive child development program to children under age three whose family’s incomes are at or below the federal poverty line.
Missouri Head Start
A national child development program for children from birth to age five, which provides services to promote academic, social and emotional development, as well as providing social, health and nutrition services for income-eligible families.
United 4 Children
Provides services to child care programs that care for children with diverse needs and abilities.
Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
Special supplemental nutrition program which provides services to pregnant women, new mothers, infants and children up to their 5th birthday based on nutritional risk and income eligibility.