Applicants to the state child care subsidy program often face long call center wait times and onerous paperwork requirements — and child care providers who accept the subsidy face administrative hurdles of their own.
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson made improving access to child care a major part of his 2023 legislative agenda, declaring during his annual State of the State address in January that “early childhood care is essential to our state’s success.” Since then, lawmakers have worked to enact his recommendations, but the proposals have faced roadblocks on their way to his desk.
An investigation by MuckRock and The Missouri Independent found that despite hundreds of millions in federal pandemic relief money pouring into the state, child care facilities are facing huge staffing shortages and parents are struggling with long waitlists for care.
MuckRock and The Missouri Independent analyzed the supply and demand of Missouri child care programs since 2019, drawing from public records and data provided by the advocacy group Child Care Aware.
Radioactive waste in the West Lake Landfill is more widespread than previously thought, officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said. The finding is based on two years of testing at the St. Louis County site, which has held thousands of tons of radioactive waste for decades. An underground “fire” in another area of the landfill threatens to exacerbate the issue, which residents believe is responsible for a host of mysterious illnesses.