Governor Kelly Breaks Ground on Ballard Center Addition, Increasing Access to Child Care
in Lawrence

Governor Laura Kelly joined local leaders at the Ballard Center yesterday to break ground on an addition that will expand the center’s child care capacity in Lawrence.

“This new addition to the Ballard Center will increase access to safe, affordable child care for more Kansas families,” said Governor Laura Kelly. “We know that investing in early childhood care and education is foundational to making Kansas the best place to raise a family. By expanding access to high-quality child care, the Ballard Center is instrumental to achieving this goal.”

The Ballard Center is a non-profit organization that provides early childhood education and partners with organizations, businesses, and individuals in Douglas County to provide other safety-net services, including a food and clothing pantry.

“The Ballard Center addition will be a generational game-changer for the families and children we serve,” said Kyle Roggenkamp, CEO of the Ballard Center. “This capacity-building step will not only allow Ballard to serve more families and children on their path to stability but will also allow us to serve them in a more trauma-informed way.”

Governor Kelly’s budget proposal, released in January, includes a historic $56 million investment to expand child care slots and support the child care workforce. If enacted, this would represent the largest single-year investment in early childhood care and education in Kansas history. This proposal has support from more than 1,000 early childhood stakeholders and providers in all 105 Kansas counties.

Photos from the event for media use can be found below.