Strengthen relationships between state agencies to inform and align policies, improve practices, and maximize resources.
1.2.1 Map requests for proposals, funding strategies and requirements, scopes of work,
programming priorities, eligibility, and reporting requirements across state agencies that fund early childhood care and education programs to identify areas of efficiency and alignment.
1.2.2 Strengthen relationships between state agencies that implement early childhood care and education programs and those that provide other supports to children and families such as housing, transportation, economic supports (cash, food, and child care assistance), employment, child welfare, and behavioral health services so families have their basic needs met.
1.2.3 Strengthen relationships between state agencies that implement early childhood care and education programs and those that implement critical components of the early childhood care and education infrastructure, including workforce development, higher education, and economic development.
The Early Childhood Recommendations Panel strengthens relationships among agencies and identifies areas for improvement in practices. A collaboration survey conducted over the first two years of Panel membership showed positive connections, with Panel members meeting monthly and Panel workgroups completing targeted tasks between meetings. The Panel provided two recommendations, which were adopted by the Children’s Cabinet in April 2022. The first recommended the State Interagency Coordinating Council and Local Interagency Coordinating councils collaborate to implement new strategies. The second recommended state agencies and contracted partners utilize federal relief funding to help retain individual child care professionals in licensed settings by issuing one-time individual bonus payments. As a result, Governor Laura Kelly announced $53 million in appreciation bonuses for child care providers in June, 2022.
Representatives from state agencies, organizations, and community partners from the Kansas Early Childhood Governance System met on January 21, 2022 for the inaugural Kansas Early Childhood Governance Summit to share their work and report how their progress aligns with the All in for Kansas Kids Strategic Plan.
The Thriving Families Safer Children and Family First Prevention Services Act initiatives are blending teams from child welfare and early childhood to strengthen families and address child maltreatment prevention. The Thriving Families, Safer Children Toolkit includes a one-page flyer, conversation starters, an informational video, and tips on how to get involved. Additionally, several mapping efforts are helping inform the alignment process, including a resource directory of governance groups with memberships, a listing of state agency meetings and groups, and a crosswalk of eight state agency plans with the All in for Kansas Kids Strategic Plan. This mapping deepens our understanding of what needs to be aligned, helping future efforts actually address alignment challenges.