Children 0-5

Local Resources: 

Kindergarten Readiness

C2CA has begun distribution of the first comprehensive, countywide definition of what it means to be ready for kindergarten. Through surveys, parents in Boone County let educators in Boone County know they found it hard to get a clear and consistent definition of what it means to be “ready for kindergarten.” The Cradle to Career Alliance assembled a county-wide team to craft a single definition that parents and preschool teachers could use to guide their efforts.

The new C2CA “Growing a School-Ready Child” flyer is the product of a collaboration of teachers from all six county school districts, local preschool providers, academicians, social service providers, state agencies and the public library. The criteria outlined in the flyer align with state guidelines and national research, and reflect the emerging view that social and emotional readiness is as crucial as academic preparedness.



The “Growing a School-Ready Child” flyer is also available in Spanish, Korean, Arabic,  Somali, and Swahili.

Child Development:

  • Missouri First Steps is an Early Intervention program to support families who have a child from birth to age 3 who has delayed development or diagnosed conditions that are associated with developmental disabilities.
  • Lend & Learn Library offers a safe and free environment for families and children (B-5) to explore developmentally appropriate toys to enhance motor and cognitive skills.
  • Missouri Department of Health and Human Services includes information on programs for children, well child exams and Mo Health Net.
  • Parent Link provides resources, problem solving support, and referrals for families.
  • Parents as Teachers is a service for qualifying families from Columbia Public Schools. Qualification screenings are offered during days and evenings. Program promotes parents as the child’s first teacher, and support includes home visits and an early childhood resource center.
  • SOAR (System Offering Actions for Resilience in Early Childhood) – Provides services to promote the social-emotional wellness of children ages 0-8 and their families in Boone County. SOAR’s focus is on early child wellness, universal developmental screening, information/referral, workforce development and treatment services.

Library Programs & Resources from Daniel Boone Regional Library:

Health Care:

  • Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services provides information about current events, links to divisions within health and human services, and publications.
  • Health Insurance Marketplace provides information for individuals and families about getting health insurance. Insurance applications can be completed online.
  • Maternal Mental Health Program is part of Lutheran Children’s and Family Services, this program provides therapy sessions to help mothers (living in Boone County) battle depression, as well as therapy and support for their children and case management to help identify community resources and services to promote family well-being.
  • Missouri HealthNet for Children is Missouri’s health care program for children. Get information on eligibility, providers, application materials and more.
  • Missouri HealthNet for Pregnant Women and Newborns is Missouri’s health care program for pregnant women and newborns. Get information on eligibility, providers, application materials and more.
  • My Life Clinic offers free professional, confidential pregnancy medical services, including pregnancy testing and ultrasound. Services are offered without restrictions regardless of age, marital status, race, religion, residency or income. Parenting and Moms Support Group classes are also offered. Call 573-874-3561 to schedule an initial visit with a client specialist. Walk-in appointments are also available.
  • Women, Infants, and Children Program (WIC) is a supplemental nutrition and health program based on income. Offered to pregnant women, new mothers and children up to age five.

General Assistance for Parents and Caregivers: 

  • Call 2-1-1: a 24 hour, 7 day a week telephone resource line that connects callers to trained resource specialists. Specialists can provide referrals for seniors, disabled persons, children and families, to physical or mental health services and job resources. Referrals are free and confidential. Multilingual specialists are available.
  • Central Missouri Down Syndrome Family Network is a support group for families that have babies or small children, teens or adults who are “enlightened by an extra 21st chromosome.”
  • Childcare Aware of Missouri provides childcare referrals, training coordination and accreditation services for parents, families and childcare providers.
  • CMCA empowers individuals and families to achieve self-reliance through programs designed to fight poverty, including Head Start, employment & training programs, foster grandparents and family support services.
  • Columbia Public Schools Early Childhood Education Center early childhood special education program for children ages 3 to 5. Program addresses educational development and social development needs of children.
  • FACE – Family Access Center of Excellence provides a coordinated, transparent and collaborative approach to improving access to quality social, emotional and behavioral health services for families with children (aged 0-19). Includes supportive case-management and community-based referrals.
  • Family Facets and the Children’s Division (formerly known as DFS) provide two programs in Boone and Callaway counties for families – Intensive In-home Services (IIS) and Family Reunification Services (FRS). IIS is a program that seeks to keep children safely in their homes with their primary caretaker(s) through helping families gain the skills, information and resources they may need to function successfully. FRS is a program that helps families successfully reintegrate their children back into their homes after a period of out-of-home placement. Referrals to either of these two programs may be made at any time by calling 573-886-7422.
  • Family Impact Center provides support and education services to Columbia families in the areas of financial literacy, mental health, life skills, and relationship building. This organization also provides school readiness programs and summer camps for youth.
  • First Chance for Children delivers canvas “Baby Bags” to low-income mothers that give birth in the two Columbia hospitals. The bag contains books, safety items, a sleeper and a notebook containing information about local resources for new mothers.
  • Grandparents Raising Grandchildren an informal group for grandparents raising their grandchildren. Guest speakers have addressed grandparent-grandchild relations, maintaining health, handling stress, holiday activities with grandchildren and legal issues.
  • Healthy Families Program provides car seats, cribs, and clothing and other supplies and referral services to families expecting a baby.
  • La Leche League provides help and support to breast feeding women through mother-to-mother support and education.
  • MPACT a statewide training and information center serving parents of children with all disabilities through the use of free training workshops and one-on-one technical assistance sessions. MPACT assists parents in their efforts to effectively advocate for their children’s educational rights and supports. 1-800-743-7634
  • The Nurturing Network the Nurturing Network, provided by Lutheran Family and Children’s Services of Mid-Missouri, is an evidence-based curriculum that teaches parents the importance of nurturing themselves in an effort to better nurture their children. Parents work one-on-one with a social worker, and can be connected as needed with services for alternative housing options, job training and placement, and individual counseling. Open to parents who have at least one child age five or younger in the home. Funded by the Boone County Children’s Service Fund; there is no cost to parents. Please call Erin Maynard, LMSW at 573-815-9955 for a referral.
  • Rainbow House provides emergency shelter services to Boone county children and families in crisis with the mission of keeping children safe and supporting families through prevention, assessment and intervention in child abuse and neglect cases.
  • CRIBS Program provides a safe crib and basic necessities for the first year of life along with information families need to safely put their child to bed and deal with sleep-related issues.
  • Safe Kids Columbia dedicated to eliminating unintentional injury and death to children under the age of 19 in Audrain, Boone, Callaway, Cooper, Cole and Howard Counties. Safe Kids Columbia provides information on passenger safety, water safety, bike/pedestrian safety, firearm safety, home/fire safety and playground/sports injury prevention. For more information on local events call 573-875-9216.
  • Tel-Link a toll-free information and referral line for Missouri residents that offers a wide range of guidance on programs including alcohol and drug treatment, dental clinics, mental health treatment and prenatal referrals. 1-800-TEL-LINK or 1-800-835-5465.
  • Voluntary Action Center provides several programs and resources for families such as diapers, formula, hygiene kits and a Christmas program providing low-income families with food and gifts for the holidays. The VAC can help secure birth certificates for persons born in Missouri, youth enrichment fund of $50.00 per child per year for sport, scholastic, etc. types of activities and various other services. Call 874-2273 for information.

Student Parents: 

  • Cub Hub is a study area with wifi capability for student parents. Education students provide children of student parents with opportunities to play and learn. (Parents do not have to be MU student to take advantage of this service.)

Low-cost Clothing & Supplies*: 

*Many of these organizations will take donations of gently used clothing, toys and furniture. Contact for details.