- First Steps
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 and Learn
Offers a safe environment for families and children to explore toys to enhance motor and cognitive skills.
- Missouri Department of Health: Healthy Children
Links and resources to Missouri Department of Health and Human Services programs for children. Includes information on well child exams and Mo Health Net.
Provides resources, problem solving support, and referrals for families.
- Parents as Teachers
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 resource center.
Library Programs and Resources from DBRL
- Books Every Child Should Know
Library staff maintains the following lists of excellent age- and reading level-appropriate books for your young reader.
- Children’s Programs at the Library
- DBRL Kids
A blog containing information about upcoming children's events, book lists, fun stuff to do, homework help and links to local activities.
Call (573) 817-7177 to enjoy a new fairy tale each week.
- Play as Learning (PAL) Kits & Little Red Reading Bags
Help parents and children explore learning through play. PAL kits contain books, toys and music or a DVD for young children ages birth to 2 years, and Little Red Reading Bags contain similar materials for kids ages 3 to 5.
- 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.
- Missouri HealthNet for Children
Missouri’s health care program for children. Get information on eligibility, providers, application materials and more.
- Missouri HealthNet for Pregnant Women and Newborns
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)
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 211
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
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.
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.
- 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 573-999-0167 or, as a backup, by using the referral pager at 1-800-206-5543.
- 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 Babies Program
Provides car seats, cribs, and clothing to families expecting a baby. Assistance can come in the form of car seats, cribs, and clothing.
- LaLeche League
Provides help and support to breast feeding women through mother-to-mother support and education.
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.
- 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.
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.
- Cub Hub
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.
- Children’s Orchard
Gently used clothing (up to youth size 12), toys and equipment for children.
- Columbia and Jefferson City Salvation Army
Gently used furniture, clothing, and household goods. Also provides information on employment, donations, and programs.
- Harmony’s Treasure Box
New and gently used children’s clothes, maternity wear and toys.
- Missouri Goodwill
Information about shopping for used items, donations and locations.
- The Wardrobe
Offers gently used clothing for children and adults.