ICYMI: Kansas Child Care Task Force Works Toward Access, Quantity, and Quality Solutions

KEY QUOTE: “[The Early Childhood Transition Task Force] is taking all of these existing services that are just spread through hither and yon into a single administrative home, where they are sort of almost forced into collaboration with one another, and an opportunity for someone at a cabinet level, for example, to be responsible for coordinating all of these public dollars for young children. It raises the profile in important ways.”

Can Kansas child care task force end ‘bureaucratic mazes for families’? Here’s the start
Jason Alatidd, Topeka Capital-Journal
July 2, 2023

  • Gov. Laura Kelly’s Early Childhood Transition Task Force met at Bishop Professional Development Center as part of a community engagement tour of nine cities. 
  • “We’re trying to figure out what’s the best way for us to benefit our children and families to be able to access services, where providers can get what they need, and do it in a way that’s a little more seamless than it is right now,” said Cornelia Stevens, co-chair of the task force and executive director of TOP Early Learning Centers in Wichita.
  • The task force was set up to explore one proposed solution in particular: a major overhaul of state government administration of child care programs. The task force is expected to develop a plan to implement the governor’s reelection campaign promise to consolidate child care programs spread across multiple agencies, elevating them into a new cabinet level agency.
  • Trina Goss, of the Greater Topeka Partnership, pointed to new grant-funded efforts and partnerships with businesses. “We wrote out a plan, part of it is workforce related for child care workers for attraction, training, retention and increasing that pay and providing benefits,” she said.