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Our Approach

The LUME Approach is rooted in the deep understanding that children's emotional development is the foundation for lifelong health, growth, and learning. By working directly with children and their primary caregivers, we are increasing children's opportunities to thrive and reach their full potential.


Our Impact Stories

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3 Ways Your Gift Helps LUME Now:

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Professional Development

Our professional development increases access to LUME’s trainings and courses, which are proven to build an educator’s capacity to nurture the emotional development of children and improve children’s mental health and educational journey. The LUME Approach helps educators understand the emotional development of children and use self-reflection to recognize how their own early childhood experiences impact the way they care for and teach children.


Workforce Development

Our Early Childhood Apprenticeship Program offers unemployed and underemployed workers a career path in early childhood education. Our Apprenticeship Program was the first coordinated and sustained Department of Labor-registered Early Childhood Apprenticeship Program in the State of Missouri and meets professional education requirements for the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential.


Family Engagement

LUME’s family education programs provide opportunities to help parents and caregivers support their child’s brain development and grow healthy relationships that will last as lifetime. Over the last year we've reached more than 78,000 parents and educators across our region through special events, courses, and discussion groups.


How We’re Innovating With Harvard


LUME Institute and University City Children’s Center were selected into Harvard’s Center on the Developing Child Frontiers of Innovation portfolio.

Harvard will provide continuing support and help guide our practice-based research on our professional development model through continuing technical assistance around data collection, program implementation, and data analysis.


Save On Your Taxes When You Donate


What are NAPs?

Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP) tax credits are awarded by the Missouri Department of Economic Development to highly capable, qualified nonprofits whose workforce development programs support well-trained, well-educated early childhood educators. LUME Institute has been awarded NAPs and, for a donation to LUME Institute of at least $1,000, eligible donors may receive a Missouri tax credit equal to 50% of the amount of the contribution. NAPs are issued on a first come, first served basis.

You can save even more by contributing publicly traded stock that has appreciated in value and which you have held for more than one year. This type of contribution will be valued at current market value and you avoid the capital gains tax.

Who is eligible?

Donors that designate an eligible gift to LUME Institute and are: corporations, limited liability corporations, partnerships, sole proprietorships, S-corporations, or individuals who operate a farm, have income from rental property or royalties, or are shareholders in an S-corporation or partners in a Partnership. Click here to learn more about NAPs.