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      Missouri Senate passes preschool rating bill

      The Missouri Senate has approved a measure that could pave the way for private, nonprofit groups to develop a preschool rating system.

      Just two years ago, the Legislature passed a law to bar the creation of preschool rating system by the state, universities or quasi-government entities. Some lawmakers had raised concerns that a state rating system could have made some early childhood centers ineligible for state-subsidized child care.

      The legislation that passed 26-4 on Thursday would leave that prohibition intact, but would let publicly-funded preschools participate in a rating program developed by a private organization.

      The bill now heads to the House. Lawmakers adjourn for the year on May 16.