TOPEKA—Governor Laura Kelly today announced more than $2.1 million in grant funding to fuel 59 ‘All in for Kansas Kids’ Quality Subgrants. The grants will help communities, service and child care providers, and other early childhood champions address needs and gaps in the early childhood care and education system through locally-driven ideas and approaches.
Grantees from organizations and child care providers large and small from across the state will use their awards to develop and implement new approaches that help children and families in their communities thrive. More than 140 applications were submitted, each focusing on addressing gaps in access, availability, and quality of child care, as well as community-level supports for families.
“Investing in early childhood care and education system is one of the best ways we can improve outcomes for Kansas families and communities,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “As we continue to rebuild our state’s foundation, supporting our kids’ development from Day One will boost our communities, help recruit businesses, and encourage those in our current and future workforces to stay in the places they grew up.”
Funding for the subgrants was made possible by the federal Preschool Development Birth Through Five Renewal Grant, a 3-year grant awarded to Kansas in April 2020. Many funded projects will receive multi-year support in alignment with the federal grant to create long-term, sustainable changes.
The work is being guided by the All in for Kansas Kids Strategic Plan, which maps the state’s future direction for early childhood. Grantees directly responded to findings from the statewide needs assessment conducted in 2019. More than 6,100 Kansans elevated a range of challenges that became the focus of the grant award categories: child care access, rural child care, connecting families to services, kindergarten readiness, and quality of care.
Grantees were awarded from all regions of the state and include targeted supports to help expand access to high-quality child care in communities such as Leoti, Washington, Independence, St. Francis, Valley Falls, Ness City, and Ellsworth, and in Thomas, Finney, Sumner, and Allen Counties. Grants will also support regional efforts to bridge gaps for families in counties surrounding sprawling Kansas communities like Lawrence, Wichita, Kansas City, and Emporia.
“Kansans across the state recognize the importance of providing their children with the best start in life possible,” Melissa Rooker, executive director of the Kansas Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund, said. “We are pleased to support local early childhood care and education experts and provide financial resources to allow them to implement community-driven strategies.”
To learn more about specific funded programs and activities and connect with the All in for Kansas Kids Strategic Planning efforts to strengthen the Kansas early childhood care and education system, please visit the Kansas Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund website http://AllinforKansasKids.org.
Funds for All in For Kansas Kids activities are partially provided through the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Administration for Children and Families (ACF) Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five Renewal 90TP0078-01-00 ($8,943,000) was awarded to the Kansas Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund. The Kansas State Department of Education, the Kansas Department for Children and Families, and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment are leading this work with the Children’s Cabinet. This information or content and conclusions should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HHS, ACF, or the U.S. Government. Any food or refreshments are not paid for by federal funds.