Make physical infrastructure improvements to ensure healthy and safe environments for children to grow and learn.
7.1.1 Prioritize investments in quality improvement grants to help licensed child care programs address environmental and material upgrades, with particular focus given to supporting the needs of underserved children.
7.1.2 Study local zoning and homeowner associations across the state to identify laws that adversely affect the ability to operate a child care business in residential and commercial spaces.
Many early childhood professionals have been able to access funding and resources to support infrastructure improvements through the Child Care Impact Grant program, the Kansas Hero Relief Program, and comfort kits provided to child care providers by KDHE in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although many funding sources limit or prohibit use of funds for capital improvements, some PDG Quality Subgrants and Remote Learning Grants supported program and facility improvements such as new supplies, materials, and improvements to accessibility for children with special health care needs . Additionally, the Children’s Cabinet awarded a grant to the SENT Prep Academy in Topeka to open a new center in the Hi-Crest neighborhood. The center opened its doors in May, and currently has 18 children enrolled.
In 2020, DCF, KDHE and CCA-KS partnered to provide over $5 million in Impact Grants to licensed child care providers for environmental modification, including minor renovations, needed to meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDF) and KDHE recommendations to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Funding was made possible through CCDF CARES Act relief funds.
In October 2021, DCF’s QRIS Links to Quality team began working with subject matter experts to develop a Health and Safety Link, one of the core foundational standards.
The Community Service Tax Credit Program (CSP) led by the Kansas Department of Commerce supports nonprofit organizations looking to take on major capital campaigns through tax credits for donors. In 2022, CSP tax credits will assist five different counties with building new or upgrading existing child care facilities.