Governor Kelly Announces Nearly $43.6M in Grant Funding, Creating of Over 4,200 New Child Care Slots: Here’s What They’re Saying

TOPEKAGovernor Laura Kelly and the Kansas Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund last month announced funding awards to 52 statewide organizations for the purpose of creating new, sustainable, high-quality licensed child care slots across the state and accelerating capacity-building in support of families, businesses, and economic development.

These grants are part of the Child Care Capacity Accelerator grant program, which was designed to advance the rapid development of additional child care slots statewide. The program will provide $43,593,294 in grant funding, which will create 4,211 new child care slots across the state.  

Here’s what they’re saying: 

“We are so grateful for the additional grant support we are receiving from the Kansas Children’s Cabinet Accelerator Grant Program! Like many large-scale projects, we discovered additional costs along the way that weren’t going to be covered from our initial fundraising efforts. These grant funds will ensure we are able to get our daycare duplex facility project over the finish line and fully furnished to assist two new child care providers in getting their daycare businesses off the ground to service an additional 20+ youth in need of care in Sheridan County.” 
– Karl Pratt,
Executive Director, Sheridan County Community Foundation & Economic Development

“This is such a game changer for our little community. It will provide child care slots for the children in need of care as well as provide more jobs in our community. We are so thankful for being a recipient of this grant” 
– Kelly Diller,
Executive Director, Erie Community Childcare Center 

“The Child Care Capacity Accelerator Grant is allowing us to bring critically needed nurturing, licensed child care to El Dorado.  The Grant process itself surprised us by being so uplifting–it has brought our El Dorado community together beautifully as we work to protect the most vulnerable among us. We are so encouraged by the support we have received as we have developed our Nurture Center program.”
– Kimberly Fross, 
Executive Director, Branches Pregnancy and Family Center 

“Rural communities like ours, fight to thrive and do not back down from challenges; however, the ability to expand childcare in our area has been very difficult to execute…The best initiatives do not just address one problem, they address multiple. The Accelerator Grant funding does this in spades. I believe this has been a tremendous investment, an investment that all Elk County and Kansas citizens will benefit from for generations to come. Without the opportunity provided by the Accelerator Grant, West Elk may have never accomplished our goal of establishing child care availability in our communities.”
– Martin Burke,
Superintendent, West Elk Schools

“Child care has been a major barrier to workforce retention and growth in rural communities. Our team has been working on developing a child care solution for Barton County for the past 2 years, and while all agree on the value of the project, it has been a long road to acquire the substantial funding needed to make these high quality, reliable and available centers a reality. The funding acquired from the Child Care Capacity Accelerator grant is crucial in our goals to make these new centers come to life to better support our businesses, families, and, of course, the youngest members of our community. Due to the grant award we will officially be breaking ground on our first facility July 20th – this funding has been a lead catalyst to moving this project forward.”  
– Sara Arnberger,
Great Bend Development Director, Advancing Barton County Childcare (ABCC) 

“The new slots created by the Child Care Capacity Accelerator grant program will be game changers for the Kansas economy and our families. We saw proposals this session that aimed to create slots at the expense of our children’s safety. This program is an economically savvy way we can make child care more accessible for working parents, while supporting kids and early educators.”
– Senator Dinah Sykes,
Senate Minority Leader