Governor Laura Kelly Proposes Unified Early Childhood Agency for Kansas

By Trish Svoboda

Governor Laura Kelly has introduced a bill to consolidate Kansas’ early childhood care and education services into a single agency known as the Office of Early Childhood, which has been presented in both legislative chambers.

The bill aims to streamline the delivery of services by merging nearly 20 existing state programs, including child care licensing, child care subsidy, home visitation, and Head Start programs, under the Office of Early Childhood.

“By unifying our existing early childhood care and education services under a single umbrella with the Office of Early Childhood, we are one step closer to making Kansas’ early childhood system the most robust in the nation,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “This bill will streamline how we provide services, reducing bureaucratic burdens so more Kansas businesses, child care providers, and families can easily navigate the system and receive support.”

The proposed Office will be led by an Executive Director who will administer services, ensure accountability, and address community needs

The proposal follows recommendations from the Early Childhood Transition Task Force and seeks to address inefficiencies and gaps in services. The bipartisan support for the bill highlights its potential to improve accountability and transparency within the early childhood system, ultimately benefiting Kansas children and families statewide.

Sign up for the KCLY Digital Newspaper, The Regional