Streamline state-level early childhood decision-making structures and processes.
1.1.1 Initiate the governance structure for the Kansas early childhood care and education system to collaborate on and monitor implementation of the strategic plan.
1.1.2 Deliver technical assistance
1.1.3 Standardize agency expectations around monitoring, licensing, and technical assistance for community-based providers, and incorporate these expectations for accountability into associated contracts.
1.1.4 Develop a cross-agency, common application process — where applicable — that streamlines the grant-writing and reporting process for community-based grantees and contractors.
The Kansas early childhood care and education governance structure was introduced in early 2020, with activities happening within each working group. These groups are actively aligning with the All in for Kansas Kids Strategic Plan to implement tactics and strategies, with particular momentum within the Early Childhood Recommendations Panel (the designated working group for the Children’s Cabinet as the Kansas Early Childhood Advisory Council), the Child Care Systems Improvement Team, and the Workforce Development Advisory Group.
A commonality across early childhood is the role that technical assistance and supports play for both providers and families. Many agencies and teams – including IRIS, Adaptive TA, KCCTO, Child Care Aware of Kansas, Links to Quality, and the Child Care Health Consultants – provide support. Progress towards mapping these services, sharing updates on webinars, and connecting on complementary services has created a better understanding of the full continuum available and where to invest additional resources.
The Kansas CommonApp pilot launched in Fall 2020, which spurred conversations around alignment of reporting, support, and grantmaking. Some grants have worked to identify common requirements (Our Tomorrows collection and 1-800-CHILDREN promotion), while others have intentionally aligned their RFP language. More work is needed on aligning state contracts, and the Children’s Cabinet is currently exploring potential updates to the Kansas CommonApp. It will be important to continue collaboration across the full governance structure in the months and years to come.