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CURRENT SUPPLY OF CHILD CARE DOES NOT MEET DEMAND
LIMITED CHILD CARE CAPACITY IN RURAL KANSAS
Mapping child care deserts in Kansas for children under 5 years old
Institute for Policy & Social Research. The University of Kansas, Dec 2021
Area with more than 50 children under 5 years old with either no child care providers or more than 3 times as many children as licensed child care slots
98% of Kansas rural counties are not able to meet the child care demands in their community due to financial struggles, especially with recruiting and retaining staff. In 2020, 16 rural counties had no slots for infants and toddlers; that number grew to 21 counties just a year later. To make matters worse, we are losing more child care providers across Kansas than we are gaining. The losses in Kansas’s child care system have been linked to the taxing financial burdens of running a child care program in addition to the inadequate pay and benefits for providers. Current providers are pushed to close their doors, and new providers are deterred from opening.
The economic need for quality child care in our communities cannot be overstated.
LOCAL & REGIONAL ECONOMIES
WORKFORCE PARTICIPATION, PRODUCTIVITY,
& FINANCIAL STABILITY
EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT & EDUCATION
Additionally, a lack of quality early childhood education is a driving force behind many costly and preventable outcomes for Kansas kids throughout their life. It is essential that we create strong systems of support for families and children in need that enable them to overcome adversities and raise resilient, healthy, and happy kids.
At a time of population decline and economic struggle for our rural communities, it is critical that we work to build the basic infrastructure needed for industry and families in rural Kansas to not only survive, but THRIVE!
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