You care about your community and your state, and you’ve likely heard or experienced the impact child care challenges are having on Kansas kids, families, businesses, towns, and neighborhoods. Licensed child care providers in Kansas meet only 45% of the potential demand for care in Kansas. Pandemic era federal aid has ended, the cost of care is rising, and wait lists are growing longer.
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.
Our work supports child care providers by helping them reach their business goals. Our consultants offer coaching on a variety of topics, including health, safety, and wellness, best business practices, and professional development. Across our programs in 2022, our consultants offered 5,360 coaching sessions. Our team answered over 23,000 calls, emails, and chats over the seven months that we were awarding Sustainability Grants.
We are implementing creative solutions to large-scale issues. This past Spring, we launched Baby Steps, an innovative pilot that seeks not only to offset the revenue lost by caring for infants and toddlers but also to bring family child care providers’ incomes closer to what might be considered a “livable” wage. The Baby Steps pilot project will serve 59 family child care programs in 21 Kansas counties.
We are committed to inclusion. We recognize that diversity, equity, and inclusion are essential to achieving our mission of ensuring that every child in Kansas has access to high-quality child care. We offer bilingual support to over 250 providers in Kansas, and our team is taking steps to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion internally and externally.
Our work supports communities by serving as a partner in community-led coalitions. Child Care Aware of Kansas works with 98 counties to increase child care capacity in their local communities. We are directly impacting this work by facilitating the Child Care Community Partnership grant, which over two million dollars has already been awarded.
Our work supports families by assisting them in their search for quality child care. We offer a list of child care referrals in the family’s area, as well as a quality-care checklist to consult when researching and interviewing providers. In 2022, we provided 16,014 referrals to Kansas families. We provided families with 64,357 educational materials on quality child care and child development on our website.
The workforce of tomorrow depends on quality child care today. Child care enables parents and guardians to pursue work, education, and other aspirations to support their families economically and live fulfilling lives. When everyone in the state has access to quality, consistent child care, employers can attract and retain a productive and loyal workforce.
Your gift is a powerful investment in ensuring Kansas has access to high-quality child care for generations to come.