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Gov. Nixon announces more than $1 million for early childhood education project in Maryville through Missouri Start Smart

October 5, 2016
Economics and Finance
Officer of Missouri Governor Jay Nixon
Officer of Missouri Governor Jay Nixon

Gov. Jay Nixon today announced a more than $1 million investment through Missouri Start Smart to expand access to quality early childhood education opportunities in Maryville, so that more Missouri children start kindergarten ready to succeed in school and beyond.

The Governor announced that through the Missouri Start Smart initiative, the Missouri Department of Economic Development has awarded a $1 million Community Development Block Grant to the City of Maryville on behalf of SSM Health St. Francis Hospital. In addition, a $250,000 Neighborhood Assistance Program tax credit will help the hospital construct a new, 15,817-square-foot early learning and Early Head Start center, increasing the available early learning slots offered by SSM Health from 67 to 136.

For the past 30 years, St. Francis Hospital has provided early learning opportunities within the community at a small facility that was formerly a single-family home built in the late 1950s. Due to the age and size of this facility, the ability of SSM Health to expand early learning opportunities has been extremely limited. The new early learning and Early Head Start center, made possible by the Start Smart grant, will be operated in partnership with Community Services, Inc. Additionally, early childhood education majors attending Northwest Missouri State University will be able to complete hands-on, practical experience in early childhood education.