Support initiatives and policies that contribute to economic security for families.
5.1.1 Adopt policies that maximize Medicaid by expanding covered/billable services for children and families, the types of providers who qualify for reimbursement, and the settings where services can be provided.
5.1.2 Reduce eligibility barriers and administrative burdens so that more Kansas families can access concrete economic supports like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cash assistance, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food assistance, and child care assistance.
5.1.3 Analyze the impact of current and future policies on funding, services, and programs specifically for underserved populations to help families improve access to basic supports.
Financial supports are available through Medicaid, and the Kansas Association for Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health is working to expand Medicaid (via billing codes) to children ages 0-5 in need of health services. Additionally, as telehealth services became more widely available during the COVID-19 pandemic, a push emerged to keep telehealth as a billable Medicaid option. Through COVID-19 relief funding, more families were eligible to receive child care assistance and more child care providers had access to sustainability grants to maintain their businesses.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits were added to the “public assistance” category when determining Head Start eligibility. This policy change minimizes the burden on families seeking public assistance. Families that are eligible for one program, like SNAP, are able to easily participate in other services for which they qualify, like Head Start.
The Children’s Cabinet, through its Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention work, is analyzing policies that reduce disparities and support basic needs of families to help prevent child abuse. Additionally, state agencies worked closely with PDG partners to gather feedback on the Child Care Development Fund state plan, focusing on improving access to Child Care Assistance.
Governor Kelly signed HB 2106 “Axe the Food Tax”, eliminating the state sales tax on groceries. Cutting the food tax helps provide Kansas families with much-needed fiscal relief, especially as costs continue to rise.
DCF is using child care pandemic relief funding to conduct a study to understand the drivers behind the lack of DCF child care assistance demand by surveying Kansas families and child care providers to understand their needs and preferences.