Governor Kelly Joins Fellow Governors
in Urging Congress to Support Federal
Child Care Investment

– Governor Laura Kelly has joined a group of governors in calling on Congress to protect and increase federal investment in child care in the upcoming Fiscal Year 2024 budget. Alongside governors from North Carolina, Colorado, Hawaii, Wisconsin, New Mexico, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Illinois, and Washington, she sent a letter to Congressional leaders urging them to provide the resources child care centers need to stay open and retain workers.

“Here in Kansas, we are working to make it possible for every Kansas family to find an affordable option for child care, but we can’t do it alone,” said Governor Kelly. “That’s why I’ve joined my fellow governors in urging Congress to make critical investments to support families and grow our workforce.”

Congress supplied one-time funding to aid child care during the pandemic, but the need for child care funding remains as important as ever. Nationally, there are roughly 90,000 fewer people in the child care industry today, a 9.7% decrease from February 2020, and 60% of rural Americans live in a “child care desert,” which are areas with an insufficient supply of licensed child care.

In Kansas, a lack of child care options hurts economic and workforce development, as 6% of Kansans who don’t work say it is because they cannot find affordable child care. According to a recent report, the average cost for a toddler in center-based child care in Kansas costs the median two-parent household 8% of its income and the median one-parent household 26% of its income.

“We urge bipartisan action to make this essential, recurring investment in our children, our economy, and the future of our country,” the governors wrote.

Governor Kelly has invested in child care as a vital component of workforce and economic development success. In 2022 she signed House Bill 2237, a bipartisan bill that expands child care tax credits that provide child care to employees, and announced $53 million in appreciation bonuses for eligible child care staff at licensed facilities.

Read the letter here.