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.
Collaboration continues through the Kansas early childhood care and education shared governance structure, led by the Kansas Children’s Cabinet, which was codified in a 2020 Executive Order as the state’s federally mandated Early Childhood Advisory Council. Key entities aligning with the All in for Kansas Kids Strategic Plan to implement strategies include the Child Care Systems Improvement Team, the Workforce Development Advisory Group, and the Early Childhood Recommendations Panel.
Several state-level technical assistance organizations and initiatives, including IRIS, HelpMeGrow Kansas, KCCTO, Child Care Aware of Kansas, Links to Quality, and the Child Care Health Consultants, are coordinating complementary services to broaden understanding of the continuum of support available and determine where to invest additional resources.
The Kansas CommonApp streamlines grant processes while reducing staffing constraints and furthering cross-agency alignment of grant support. Since the online portal launched in Fall 2020, several grant opportunities were piloted, and efforts continue to identify possible updates and enhancements. Some grants have worked to identify common requirements (Our Tomorrows collection and 1-800-CHILDREN promotion), while others have intentionally aligned their RFP language. To streamline state funding and eligibility requirements, KSDE and the Children’s Cabinet launched a common RFP and application process for the Kansas Preschool Pilot and the Early Childhood Block Grant for Fiscal Year 2022. This allows programs to complete a single application, which reduces their administrative burden and creates additional alignment through state agency funding.