About Child Care Aware of Kansas

When all families have equitable access to quality child care options, we build the critical infrastructure necessary for our businesses to succeed, our communities to flourish, and our children to grow into happy, healthy, productive Kansans.

Child Care Aware of Kansas connects everyone with a stake in child care — parents, child care providers, businesses, local and state leaders, and community members — to the information and ideas they need to take action. Together, we aim to create an early care and education system that ensures:

  • Kids have enriching early learning experiences within supportive caregiving environments that honor diverse identities and developmental journeys.
  • Parents and guardians have access to quality, affordable child care that meets them where they are with what they need.
  • Diverse individuals enter the child care field and all child care providers stay on a sustainable career path that allows them to support their own families and provide the best care for the kids they serve.Child care businesses offer spaces of belonging for employees and the children and families they serve.
  • Employers attract and retain a diverse, quality workforce.
  • Communities — large and small — provide a high quality of life that keeps residents and welcomes new families from all walks of life.

Our Vision

All communities across Kansas value and support a high-quality early childhood care and education system.

kids hugging happy teacher at table in classroom

Our Mission

To provide statewide leadership that builds a diverse, high-quality child care system.

Our Commitment

Building a diverse, high-quality child care system starts with all of us. That’s why Child Care Aware of Kansas has made an internal commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and access (DEIA). Our ongoing journey has involved training for all staff and board members, funding specific positions focused on advancing DEIA throughout our work, updating policies to be more inclusive, and giving each team member tools to reflect on – and improve – their own behaviors and practices. These steps are only the beginning.

Our work is not about finding a single solution to the child care challenges our state faces. Rather, it’s about an inclusive approach to finding solutions that support all communities, especially those most impacted by child care issues. We continue to learn and grow as a team and – alongside many stakeholders across our state – cultivate a shared focus on creating an equitable system that works for Kansas.

What We Do

We provide opportunities, connections, and support for Kansans to envision what a better child care system can look like for them. Working within a network of Child Care Resource & Referral agencies, we also connect caregivers and providers to the information and support they need. 

Our team brings extensive experience and expertise in early care and education. We focus on:

  • Providing essential information and referrals to families looking for child care.
  • Supporting and advocating for hardworking child care providers across our state.
  • Collecting statewide data on child care to inform parents, providers, and decision-makers.
  • Creating opportunities for families and providers to share their experiences and work with other stakeholders to make changes. 
  •  Partnering with local communities and businesses who are looking to implement new solutions to learn about families’ needs and collaborate in designing effective options.
  • Advancing conversations that build understanding of the barriers people experience and strategies for creating inclusive early care environments.
Together, we can ensure that all families have equitable and consistent access to high-quality early care and learning opportunities for their young kids — which benefits everyone in Kansas.

Child Care Aware of Kansas Public Policy Agenda

Our Advocacy

We promote policy that advances equitable access to affordable, high-quality early care and education. We believe that policy must be informed by those most impacted, and prioritize centering and amplifying the voices of families, child care providers, and communities in our advocacy efforts.  

Policy Agenda

We prioritize the following legislative and policy issues for 2024:

Expand access to affordable, high-quality early care and education. Our advocacy efforts for the items below will focus on Partnership.

  • Support families by limiting child care expenses to no more than 7 percent of household income.**
  • Increase the amount of child care assistance a family can receive so that child care providers are appropriately compensated for working with families who have difficulty affording care.**
  • Increase state funding and leverage federal funding for early care and education.*

Stabilize, support and expand the early care and education workforce. Our advocacy efforts for the items below will focus on Partnership.

  • Maintain efforts to stabilize the existing early care and education system.
  • Adopt meaningful financial incentives for child care providers to improve the quality of their programs.**
  • Adopt equitable compensation strategies to ensure child care providers earn fair and adequate compensation, retain our current workforce, and recruit new providers to the profession.*

Health and safety in early care and education. Our advocacy efforts for the items below will focus on Support and Partnership.

  • Monitor proposed changes to child care licensing regulations and advocate for ensuring that young children are cared for in safe, healthy, nurturing environments.
  • Monitor proposed changes to vaccination requirements for child care.*
  • Monitor proposed changes to government-sponsored healthcare, specifically focusing on supporting for adjustments that facilitate increased accessibility of insurance coverage for child care providers and families.*

*Denotes alignment with Kansas Action for Children’s agenda with slight modifications.

**Denotes complete alignment with Kansas Action for Children’s agenda with no modifications.

Ongoing Efforts to Ensure Accessibility

Child Care Aware of Kansas is committed to providing a fully accessible website experience for all users of all abilities, including those who rely on assistive technologies like screen readers, screen enlargement software, and alternative keyboard input devices to navigate the web.

We follow the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) version 2.1 as our guiding principle for determining accessibility. These are internationally agreed-upon standards that cover a wide range of recommendations and best practices for making content useable. As we add new pages and functionality to our website, all designs, code, and content entry practices are checked against these standards.

Website accessibility is an ongoing process. We continually test content and features for WCAG 2.1 Level AA compliance and remediate any issues to ensure we meet or exceed the standards. Testing of our website is performed by our team members using industry-standard tools such as the Accessibility Checker WordPress Plugin, color contrast analyzers, keyboard-only navigation techniques, and Flesch-Kincaid readability tests.

What We're Up To
Man Researching About Us
Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies
Agency Map About US
Board & Staff
Join the conversation. Group working together

Read about the impact we make on the early care and education system and the latest news from our organization.

2022 Annual Report

Ideas & Solutions Blog

Connect with your regional Child Care Resource & Referral agency for additional information and resources.

Find Your Agency

Meet the people who are leading our work and find opportunities to join our growing team.

Our Team