Making Kansas the safest, stable, and nurturing place to grow up
According to the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, 90% of human brain development takes place from birth to age 5. This critical period of childhood growth is largely impacted by the number of Safe, Stable, and Nurturing Relationships (SSNRs) that a child has and the number of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) the child is exposed to. ACEs include hardships like hunger, foster care placement, parental poverty, lack of healthcare, and other experiences that lead to long-term toxic stress that negatively alters a child’s health and success far into their future.
Click here to learn more about Adverse Childhood Experiences and why all Kansans should be invested in combatting them.
Click here to learn more about how unlocking the power of Safe, Stable, and Nurturing Relationships (notably w/ quality child care providers) is crucial to setting up our youngest Kansans’ for short and long-term success.
GOAL: Increase the number of safe, stable, and nurturing relationships for children in rural Kansas. Decrease adverse childhood experiences by investing in programs that support families and are proven to reduce toxic stress in children.
Ensure food security for all Kansas kids
Invest in childhood literacy programs
Expand access to mental health resources for kids & parents
Investing in child care to unlock economic prosperity
“By laying the crucial groundwork for tomorrow’s workforce and promoting a strong workforce today, high-quality childcare provides a powerful two-generation approach to building the human capital that a prosperous and sustainable America requires”
– US Chamber of Commerce
Recruiting new industry is vital to Kansas rural communities that face economic stagnation and population decline. Creating child care availability is key to addressing our current businesses’ workforce demands and bringing in new industries. Investing in quality child care increases workforce participation, boosts worker productivity, and builds our local and state economies. Economic development directors from across the state are leaders in addressing the child care crisis because of its impact on current and future business success.
GOAL: Create sustained government support for increasing child care availability to meet the current and future workforce’s child care demands in rural Kansas.
Offer incentives for child care providers that offer late-night & infant care
Create start-up funds for new childcare facilities
Implement paid family leave
Providing essential support for those providing essential services
Child care providers are also early childhood educators who deliver essential services of immediate value to Kansas families and businesses. These professionals also create long-term, compounding societal benefits because of the impact their skilled work has on the early childhood development of Kansas kids.
Our state’s investment in the early education workforce is drastically insufficient given the necessity and impact of their work. In 2021 the average annual income of providers in Kansas was $23,440, despite 87% of family child care providers report working over 50 hours per week. Inadequate pay, long hours, and rarely included benefits have led to 19.7% of Kansas early educators being in poverty.
The unfair compensation, lack of benefits, and poor treatment of early childhood educators receive in Kansas are resulting in a recruiting and retention crisis, worsening our state’s child care availability issues. Greater investment in this workforce is needed to ensure it is a viable career path for educators who dedicate their lives to serving Kansas kids and communities.
GOAL: To address the child care availability crisis and maximize our state’s success, we must reimagine how we invest and support this essential workforce.
Incentive professional development to increase quality childcare
Provide mental health services & benefits