SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
                             WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549


                               ------------------


                    Under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934

                                  SCHEDULE 13G

             INFORMATION STATEMENT PURSUANT TO RULES 13d-1 AND 13d-2
                    UNDER THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934




                                  Centene Corp.
                                  -------------
                                (Name of Issuer)



                                  Common Stock
                                  ------------
                         (Title of Class of Securities)



                                    15135B101
                                    ---------
                                 (CUSIP Number)



                                December 31, 2001
         ---------------------------------------------------------------
             (Date of Event Which Requires Filing of this Statement)



Check the appropriate box to designate the rule pursuant to which this Schedule
is filed:

      |X|  Rule 13d-1(b)
      |_|  Rule 13d-1(c)
      |_|  Rule 13d-1(d)


                                 --------------


                                Page 1 of 6 Pages

SCHEDULE 13G CUSIP No. 15135B101 Page 2 of 6 Pages - -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1) NAME OF REPORTING PERSON S.S. OR I.R.S. IDENTIFICATION NO. OF ABOVE PERSON Gilder, Gagnon, Howe & Co. LLC 13-3174112 - -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2) CHECK THE APPROPRIATE BOX IF A MEMBER OF A GROUP (a) |_| (b) |_| - -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 3) SEC USE ONLY - -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 4) CITIZENSHIP OR PLACE OF ORGANIZATION New York - -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- NUMBER 5) SOLE VOTING POWER OF SHARES None BENEFICIALLY -------------------------------------------------- OWNED BY 6) SHARED VOTING POWER EACH REPORTING None PERSON -------------------------------------------------- WITH 7) SOLE DISPOSITIVE POWER None -------------------------------------------------- 8) SHARED DISPOSITIVE POWER 670,000 - -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 9) AGGREGATE AMOUNT BENEFICIALLY OWNED BY EACH REPORTING PERSON 670,000 - -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 10) CHECK BOX IF THE AGGREGATE AMOUNT IN ROW (9) EXCLUDES CERTAIN SHARES |-| - -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 11) PERCENT OF CLASS REPRESENTED BY AMOUNT IN ROW (9) 6.7% - -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 12) TYPE OF REPORTING PERSON BD - -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -2-

Schedule 13G Item 1(a). Name of Issuer: Centene Corp. Item 1(b). Address of Issuer's Principal Executive Offices: 7711 Carondelet Avenue Suite 800 St. Louis, MO 63105 Item 2(a). Name of Person Filing: Gilder, Gagnon, Howe & Co. LLC Item 2(b). Address of Principal Business Office or, if None, Residence: 1775 Broadway, 26th Floor New York, NY 10019 Item 2(c). Citizenship: New York Item 2(d). Title of Class of Securities: Common Stock Item 2(e). CUSIP Number: 15135B101 Item 3. If this statement is filed pursuant to ss.ss. 240.13d-1(b), or 240.13d-2(b) or (c), check whether the person filing is a: (a) [x] Broker or Dealer Registered Under Section 15 of the Act (15 U.S.C. 78o) (b) |_| Bank as defined in section 3(a)(6) of the Act (15 U.S.C. 78c) (c) |_| Insurance Company as defined in section 3(a)(19) of the Act (15 U.S.C. 78c) (d) |_| Investment Company registered under section 8 of the Investment Company Act of 1940 (15 U.S.C. 80a-8) (e) |_| Investment Adviser in accordance withss. 240.13d-1(b)(1)(ii)(E) (f) |_| Employee benefit plan or endowment fund in accordance withss.240.13d-1(b)(1)(ii)(F) (g) |_| Parent Holding Company or control person in accordance withss.240.13d-1(b)(ii)(G) -3-

(h) |_| Savings Association as defined inss.3(b) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (12 U.S.C. 1813) (i) |_| Church plan that is excluded from the definition of an investment company under ss.3(c)(15) of the Investment Company Act of 1940 (15 U.S.C. 80a-3) (j) |_| Group, in accordance withss.240.13d-1(b)(ii)(J) Item 4. Ownership. (a) Amount beneficially owned: 670,000 (b) Percent of class: 6.7% (c) Number of shares as to which such person has: (i) Sole power to vote or to direct the vote: None (ii) Shared power to vote or to direct the vote: None (iii) Sole power to dispose or to direct the disposition of: None (iv) Shared power to dispose or to direct the disposition of: 670,000 The shares reported include 670,000 shares held in customer accounts over which partners and/or employees of the Reporting Person have discretionary authority to dispose of or direct the disposition of the shares. Item 5. Ownership of Five Percent or Less of a Class. Not applicable Item 6. Ownership of More than Five Percent on Behalf of Another Person. The owners of the accounts in which the shares reported on this Schedule are held have the right to receive or the power to direct the receipt of dividends from, or the proceeds from the sale of, such securities Item 7. Identification and Classification of the Subsidiary Which Acquired the Security Being Reported on by the Parent Holding Company. Not applicable -4-

Item 8. Identification and Classification of Members of the Group. Not applicable Item 9. Notice of Dissolution of Group. Not applicable Item 10. Certification. By signing below I certify that, to the best of my knowledge and belief, the securities referred to above were acquired in the ordinary course of business and were not acquired for the purpose of and do not have the effect of changing or influencing the control of the issuer of such securities and were not acquired in connection with or as a participant in any transaction having such purposes or effect. -5-

SIGNATURE After reasonable inquiry and to the best knowledge and belief of the undersigned, the undersigned certifies that the information set forth in this Statement is true, complete and correct. January 10, 2002 ------------------------------------ Date /s/ Walter Weadock ------------------------------------ Signature Walter Weadock, Member ------------------------------------ Name/Title -6-