Push for more Kansas child care options revitalized with $11.5 million grant

photo by: Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector

Gov. Laura Kelly has announced a second round of funding for the creation of child care slots statewide.

TOPEKA — To help remedy the state’s child care shortage, 27 organizations have been allocated $11.4 million to open up more child care slots across the state.

Gov. Laura Kelly, in conjunction with the Kansas Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund, announced a second wave of funding for child care programs Thursday as part of an initiative meant to accelerate the development of more child care options statewide.

“Building off the grants announced this summer, this funding will be transformational for families and communities across the state,” Kelly said. “Expanding access to high-quality, affordable child care will spur economic growth by allowing more families to participate in the workforce and support the healthy development of Kansas children.”

The first round of funding went out in June, allocating $43 million for the creation of 4,211 child care slots. This round of funding will open up around 1,468 spots, creating a total of more than 5,600 in 67 communities. The funding is a mix of federal pandemic dollars provided to the state and American Rescue Plan Act money, along with some funding from private sources.

Most of the funding will go toward startup costs, such as increasing staff, purchasing equipment and providing improved child care training.

“This is a win for Kansas families that will pay dividends for years to come,” said Melissa Rooker, executive director of the Kansas Children’s Cabinet. “We appreciate our partners at DCF for providing the extra funds to make this round of awards possible.”

— Rachel Mipro reports for Kansas Reflector.


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