Several of Governor Kelly’s “Rural Champions” Focus Their Efforts on Child Care

Governor Kelly Announces Child Care Champions

The Ideas & Solutions blog is intended to provide a forum for the discussion of child care and early education issues and ideas. We hope to provoke thoughtful discussions within the field and to help those outside the field gain a better understanding of priorities and concerns.

Source: Governor Laura Kelly Announces 12 “Rural Champions” Leading Local Community Efforts – Kansas Department of Commerce (

TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly today announced the 12 grant recipients of the Rural by Choice Champions Program (Rural Champions) that launched earlier this year in collaboration with the Patterson Family Foundation. The selected Rural Champions will be a part of a statewide network of grassroots individuals tackling critical projects in their respective communities.

Four of the twelve recipients are listed as “Child care Champions” and are using funds to tackle the lack of affordable child care in their communities.

“The Rural Champions program provides a new resource for rural communities that are looking for new ways to prosper. These champions will work to resolve issues that have previously been a barrier to their community’s success.” 

Child Care Champions
  • City of Kingman, Kingman County – Child care Champion 
  • Clay County – Child care Champion 
  • Dodge City, Ford County – Child care Champion 
  • Oberlin Unified School District 294, Decatur County – Child care Champion  

Rural Champions will work with the Office of Rural Prosperity throughout the project completion. At the completion of the projects, information will be compiled in the form of guidebooks that will be made available to support additional communities. More information on the Rural Champions program is available at

Read the full press release from the Kansas Department of Commerce here.

How Child Care Aware of Kansas Assists Communities

Child Care Aware of Kansas has been working with state-level partners to find ways to support local ideas and innovative solutions to ensure all Kansas communities have access to high-quality, affordable child care. Everyone has a role to play in helping our children to grow into happy, healthy, productive Kansans.​ We provide action steps for government leaders, employers, community stakeholders, families, and providers who would like to take action in impactful change.

Child Care Resources and Data

Child Care Aware of Kansas offers resources, such as the Child Care Budget Tool, to assist with the planning process of building child care capacity. This tool along with our comprehensive point in time data, assists local communities — including families, employers, and other community leaders — as they work to address critical child care shortages.

Kansas Child Magazine is another valuable resource that’s intended to provide a forum for the discussion of child care and early education issues and ideas.

By learning more about the issue and working alongside us — and with others in your region — you can have a significant impact with less effort and fewer resources than you might expect.

Community Child Care Grants

Child Care Aware of Kansas, in partnership with the Kansas Department for Children and Families, provides technical assistance and funding opportunities for Kansas communities working to address access to affordable, high-quality child care. The Child Care Community Partnership Grants are open to eligible Kansas communities and coalitions from October 3, 2022 through June 30, 2023.  

Learn more about funding opportunities for communities, child care data in Kansas and how you can start building capacity today!

  • Child Care Aware of Kansas

    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. 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.