Baby & Me is funded by the Early Childhood Development, Education and Care Fund from the Missouri Department of Social Services. Group meetings are held in Springfield; however, the program is open to any qualifying family living in Greene County, Missouri.
To participate in the Baby & Me program, a family must have a child less than three (3) years of age in the home and a household income under 185% of poverty. Additionally, parents must meet any one of the following requirements:
- Unemployed but may be receiving Temporary Assistance or other income;
- Employed 20 hours or less per week;
- Participating in an education or job training program;
- Living in a shelter or temporary housing;
- A teen parent;
- Referred by a state agency as being “at risk” for physical, emotional, social, or educational abuse/neglect.
Services are provided via home visits by parent educators and group training sessions that offer educational topics dealing with child development and creating healthy families and networking opportunities. Families are also provided with books for their child, an array of developmentally appropriate toys, and incentive certificates that may be used to purchase toys, books, safety items, safe cribs, etc. Baby & Me provides services that address literacy, mathematics, science, physical development, health and safety, and social–emotional levels building on the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Pre–K Early Learning Standards. The program also checks to be sure children are developing appropriately. Families set goals for their future, assess their everyday stress, and work to insure they are providing the best life possible for their child.