Education Resources

A number of local businesses and agencies are offering events and services to help families get off to a great start.

Parents as Teachers

Parents as Teachers is a home-school-community partnership that supports parents in their role as their child's first and most influential teachers. The enrollment process is for parents who are expecting a child or have children who are under age six and not yet in KindergartenPlease contact the office at (573)214-3955 to see if you qualify for participation in the program. Remember, you must reside in the Columbia Public School District to enroll. 

Fall Transformation Class 

United Community Builders hosts the Transformation Project is a free, faith-based, job readiness training program for individuals entering or re-entering the workforce. It starts September 13th to November 9th. The project’s purpose is to teach and train individuals who are unemployed or underemployed the core values necessary to seek and maintain meaningful employment. The staff and volunteers provide coaching for personal and professional development with a two-phase objective: the development of life skills and self-worth and employment-readiness training. Send an email to register.

Baby Bags

First Chance for Children’s Baby Bag program provides families with the basic items they need to safely care for their newborn, as well as area resource information helpful to parents with young children. First Chance for Children provides low-income mothers a canvas Baby Bag that contains books to read to the newborn, a baby safety kit, a health kit, a bath water thermometer, a sleeper, and pamphlets telling about local resources. 

ParentLink WarmLine

The WarmLine, sponsored by the University of Missouri, is a call center and is staffed with parenting experts that are available to answer any parenting question you may have!
Call Toll Free at: 1-800-552-8522 / Local (573)-882-7323, Text: 585-FAMILY1 (585-326-4591), OR email your parenting questions to our parenting experts.
The call center is now available Monday-Friday 8 a.m. - 10 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays 12 p.m. - 5 p.m. 
The Help Me Grow line is also a free, evidence-based information line connecting families to community resources and child development information.

Adventure Club Afterschool Care  

The Boonslick Heartland YMCA Adventure Club Afterschool Care is an after school program for children of working parents. It provides a safe, wholesome environment for students K-5th grade, and is offered in conjunction with your school district. The program offers a wide selection of curriculum taken from the YMCA After School Curriculum Framework, as well as a variety of other current academic and physical fitness programs. 

Schools Out Day Camp

As an extension of our After School care programs, the Boonslick Heartland YMCA offers Full Day care on scheduled school outings, such as holidays*. This does not include unscheduled outings, like snow days. Schools Out Day Camp is a separate program from our After School care, and requires separate registration. 


The Moving Ahead Program 

The Columbia Housing Authority is running the Moving Ahead Program, which is a high-quality, state-licensed, after-school and summer program in the J.W. “Blind” Boone Community Center that provides an effective mix of one-on-one tutoring and fun cultural and physical activities for children in Kindergarten through 8th grade.The program operates Monday – Friday from 3:30 p.m to 6:30 p.m. when Columbia Public Schools are in session. 
Please call Janice Brooks, Moving Ahead Program Coordinator at (573) 443-2556, ext. 1283 for enrollment information.

Grade A! After School Academic and Enrichment

Grade A Plus Inc is offering free tutoring at Second Baptist Church (407 E. Broadway) on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays when Columbia Public Schools are in session. Transportation is provided free of charge to and from the program site. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. and tutoring begins at 5 p.m. Students are dismissed at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and at 6:30 p.m. on Thursdays.

Additional Resources 

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Missouri - The Strengthening Families Through Asset Building project trains parents of at-risk children to be the primary caring role model in their child’s life while matching the children with a community-based Big Brother/Sister who will be a child’s secondary support.


Boonslick Heartland YMCA - Check out the 2017 Winter & Spring Program Guide, which offers many activities and resources for kids and parents. 



Boys & Girls Clubs of Columbia provides programs which enable youth ages 6 to 18 to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens. Check out the high quality, comprehensive programs which address the wide range of risks faced and skills needed by youth.


Harrisburg Early Learning Center provides quality and affordable early childhood education for the children of northern Boone County, regardless of social or economic status, in an environment that is safe, as well as educationally and developmentally appropriate.


Lutheran Family & Children’s Services - The Resource Parents program assists pregnant and parenting teens with prenatal care, completion of their high school education, employment, housing, parenting skills and mental health services. 


 Nora Stewart Early Learning Center is a pre-school and day care in Columbia. It provides a strong academic foundation for children and a nurturing environment for families in need of affordable care. To contact them call (573) 449-5981 or email the director, Cheryl Howard.


University YMCA - YMCA volunteers develop skills by working with a variety of programs focusing on youth development, tutoring, and mentorship. Students are able to select opportunities based on their own interests and personal learning goals. Over the course of each semester, 15 MU volunteers (an average of four per day) provide additional support and educational intervention with children ages two through five at Nora Stewart Early Learning Center. 

Mary Lee Johnston Community Learning Center is committed to providing high quality, affordable care and education programs based on the needs of our community. Enrollment is open to any child from 6 weeks of age until kindergarten entry.  Because of the high quality programming and affordability, there is a demand for child care slots at MLJCLC.  


Columbia Public Schools has many other resource pages and a lot of information, from preschool to adult career education.



Need more resources? Call 2-1-1

If you need help - for anything from day care to rental assistance to counseling to vocational training - your local 2-1-1 is here. Dial 2-1-1* to speak to a trained professional 24 hours a day, seven days a week. TTY (1-866-385-6525) and multilingual services are also available. If you are using a cell phone dial 800-427--4626. Your phone call is confidental and free.

You can also explore their online database of resources, see what region our 2-1-1 covers, and find places to stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter.


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*For emergencies, please call 911 for assistance.