Promote and formalize agreements between public and private sectors to generate financial support for this strategic plan.
4.1.1 Explore public-private partnership models around the country and identify elements
that reflect Kansas values and priorities.
4.1.2 Equip business leaders with information demonstrating the impact of supporting safe,
stable, nurturing relationships in early childhood.
4.1.3 Connect local government officials, nonprofit leaders, chambers of commerce,
the economic development community, and business leaders with opportunities
to support families, such as wage support and scholarships for early childhood
care and education professionals, expanded broadband access, and community
service tax credits.
In October 2019 at the Governor’s Symposium on Early Childhood, Kansas early childhood leaders and stakeholders had the opportunity to hear from three peer states (Arizona, Oklahoma, and Nebraska) who launched statewide public-private partnerships. Kansas briefly explored what elements from those approaches might serve a Kansas-specific model. COVID-19 and the economic impact on both the public and private sectors disrupted these efforts. While state-level efforts smartly shifted focus to managing the COVID-19 crisis, local organizations and businesses organically and swiftly modeled how public-private collaboration can have tremendous benefits for children, families, and the early childhood sector in general. Child care-friendly policies and initiatives from employers such as Urban Outfitters, along with effort by community leaders such as the Wyandotte County Economic Development Council and Finney County Economic Development Corporation showcase how communities can leverage unique public-private partnerships to meet their needs. In addition, the Kansas Department of Commerce earmarked a significant portion of their Community Service Tax Credit Program for early childhood development needs.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also highlighted how essential child care and early childhood programs are to supporting working families and the overall economy. It’s critical to continue efforts to educate the private sector on ways they can support their employees and the families that live, work, and play in their communities.