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Despite record-breaking filibusters, a record-low number of bills being passed, and zero conference committees (Kids Win Missouri) during the 2024 Legislative Session, there were still wins for kids and families when the session adjourned on May 17. In the FY 2025 budget, the legislature increased the child care subsidy rate from the 58th percentile of the current market rate survey to the 100th percentile for infants and toddlers and the 65th percentile for preschool and school-age children.

This means child care providers will get state reimbursement for providing child care to low-income families, which gives more low-income families access to workforce opportunities and child care they may be otherwise unable to afford.

Despite this win, it remains unclear whether decreased funding in the approved fiscal-year 2025 budget— a $23.4 million reduction from current funding — is sufficient to cover these obligations and how funds will be distributed across an expansive network of counties and child care providers. Some in child advocacy anticipate state departments requesting more money later in the year to fund the demand.

Despite concerns, CTF maintains that this is a move in the right direction for the state’s child care landscape and indicates there is a desire to make child care more accessible and affordable in Missouri.