Strategic Plan

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Strategy 5.2

Increase capacity and equitable access to early childhood care and education programs and services through policy and administrative directives.

5.2.1   Use the Early Childhood Recommendations Panel and other early childhood governance groups to identify and address laws, policies, funding requirements, practices, ordinances, and regulations that hinder access, availability, and community flexibility.
State agency led tactic.Statewide and community-level partnerships.Requires policy changes by elected officials.

5.2.2   Analyze eligibility requirements, including work and family income levels, of statefunded early childhood care and education services in coordination with Head Start and Early Head Start to maximize resources and ensure equitable access for families.
State agency led tactic.Statewide and community-level partnerships.Requires policy changes by elected officials.

5.2.3   Identify state matching funds to draw down all federal funds for child care.
State agency led tactic.Requires policy changes by elected officials.

5.2.4   Use early childhood care and education state agency-issued requests for proposals to promote equitable access to services.
State agency led tactic.

5.2.5   Ensure adequate, equitable services for children with, or at risk of, developmental delays.
State agency led tactic.Statewide and community-level partnerships.Requires policy changes by elected officials.

5.2.6   Develop recommendations to expand promising and evidence-based home visiting models, and support a statewide home visiting infrastructure with a variety of sustainable home visiting service options that meet the needs of families and communities.
State agency led tactic.Statewide and community-level partnerships.Requires policy changes by elected officials.

Progress Update

The Kansas Hero Relief Child Care Assistance Program expanded child care subsidy eligibility and decreased the family share deduction amounts. This program was supported by the federal Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA) and the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF).

A partnership between the Kansas Department for Children and Families, Child Care Aware of Kansas, and the Kansas Department for Health and Environment is helping distribute allocated $53 million in Child Care Workforce Appreciation Bonuses to over 20,000 child care providers in Kansas.

Several Child Care Systems Improvement Team recommendations aim to address barriers to becoming and remaining a licensed child care provider. These includes recommendations to enhance pre-licensing orientation materials, trainings and ease of information access related to process.

KDHE is exploring opportunities in partnership with other state agencies to streamline and reduce barriers for child care professionals to complete required fingerprinting.

DCF held several community feedback sessions for the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) plan, as well as a presentation to the Early Childhood Recommendations Panel. The state plan for 2022-2024 is available for public review.

Funding opportunities through the KS CommonApp emphasize equity and reduce barriers to financial support across the early childhood system. In some cases, applications that were not funded were reviewed to better understand gaps and help applicants connect to other resources. Technical assistance was provided for several CommonApp funding opportunities, including PDG Quality Subgrants and the Early Childhood Block Grant (ECBG), and is available for funded PDG Quality Subgrants throughout the grant period.

PDG funding is supporting the statewide ASQ enterprise to provide access to free screenings for families and increase coordination among early childhood professionals who administer the