KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The child care crisis in Missouri is now a top priority for Governor Mike Parson.

Parson gave his State-of-the-State address Wednesday where he proposed three new child tax care credit programs.

The proposal comes as families struggle to find affordable child care, while providers struggle with staffing shortages.

One Kansas City area mom’s search lasted six months before she could find something in her budget. However, that meant moving 30 minutes away from Overland Park to Basehor.

Eleven-month-old Ezra is all smiles at his daycare. But mom Morgan Reed says it took months to find an affordable option without a long wait list.

“He loves daycare,” she said. “Some of these daycares were $1700 to $1800 a month for just one child. That’s more than my house payment and car payment combined.”

The problem impacting families on both sides of the state line.

“To help address this issue, we’re proposing three new child tax care credit programs,” Parson said Wednesday.

The programs would improve child care facilities, help employers who are supporting their workers with child care assistance and give a pay increase to more child care workers.

Parson also is requesting $56 million to expand pre-K options and $78 million to increase child care subsidy rates.

“We know child care remains a struggle for many parents and businesses,” he said.

Wendy Doyle is the CEO and president of “United WE,” an organization working to advance women economically.

“We lost about 400 childcare facilities in the state of the Missouri as a result of the pandemic with no plans to reopen,” Doyle said.

They spent the last couple of years looking into the child care crisis. Following a study from last summer, “United WE” held townhalls with mothers and child care providers, listening to their struggles.

“For a single mom, sometimes it can be as much as a third of her income to be able to afford childcare,” Doyle said.

She says it’ll take a lot of time to build Missouri’s infrastructure before child care can improve. Something that can’t some soon enough for moms like Reed.

“Money is a weight on a lot of people’s shoulders,” Reed said.

Her advice to other moms is that it’s never too soon to start looking for daycare. One of her friends is currently looking but is seeing some waitlists as long as nine months.


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