Kansas Urged to Approve Historic Early Childhood Budget Proposal

By Trish Svoboda

Following Governor Laura Kelly’s budget proposal in January, more than 1,000 early childhood providers and stakeholders from all 105 counties in Kansas have urged the legislature to endorse her budget plan. The proposal entails a groundbreaking $56 million allocation toward early childhood services and workforce support. If approved, this would mark the most substantial single-year investment in early childhood care and education in the state’s history.

“Early childhood providers are essential to preparing our children for lifelong success and know how critical it is to invest in our state’s early childhood system,” said Governor Laura Kelly. “Legislators should listen to these experts and approve the crucial budget proposals needed to expand access to child care, support our working families and businesses, and grow our economy.” A letter to legislators, a coalition of childcare providers, and stakeholders from all 105 counties stated, “Access to high-quality child care is necessary for Kansas children and our economy to be able to thrive — it is critical infrastructure. For parents to be able to work, they need access to affordable child care. However, too many Kansas families are struggling with the high costs of child care. Investing in early childhood programs included in the budget will make child care more affordable and more available in communities from Kansas City to Garden City.”

Governor Kelly’s budget prioritizes three fundamental areas of assistance for the early childhood sector: sustaining and bolstering the early childhood workforce, broadening access to childcare, and reducing expenses for working families.

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