Kansas childcare providers teaming up to improve services

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(The Center Square) – Kansas Governor Laura Kelly announced the creation of a new partnership in the state this week that she hopes will benefit childcare providers.

The Kansas Department for Children and Families, Child Care Aware of Kansas, and five community-based organizations are working together on the Shared Service Network. Its goal is to reduce administrative costs and burden for childcare providers, allowing them to focus more on providing quality care.

“For many Kansas kids, quality child care is essential for them to have a solid start to their developmental growth,” Kansas Governor Laura Kelly said in a press release. “This network will provide child care professionals the resources they need so they can focus on young Kansans in their care.”

Childcare providers who participate in the Shared Services Network will receive cheaper and more efficient services than programs they could do alone, the release said.

Some of the services available that the state thinks will improve childcare include these, according to the release:

Group purchasing plans;Advanced business software to manage enrollment and billing;Shared administrative staff;Support for hiring staff and finding substitutes; andPersonalized professional development.

“By working together, child care providers can save money and invest more in key parts of early childhood education, like better pay for their staff, high-quality curriculum, and other supplies needed to operate a child care business,” Laura Howard, Secretary Kansas Department for Children and Families, said.

The state picked five community-based organizations to implement the Shared Services Network. They will “have the responsibility for delivering services to participating child care programs that result in cost savings,” according to the release.

“Shared Services represent an innovative approach to making the business side of child care work,” Kelly Davydov, executive director of Child Care Aware of Kansas, said. “We have a unique opportunity to realize cost savings for participating child care programs so that they can earn more or reinvest in other aspects of their business, like high-quality curriculum for the young children in their care.”

The following organizations will provide Shared Services Networks:

Northwest Kansas Innovation Center: Serving 29 counties in the Northwest and North Central areas of Kansas.Child Care Aware of Kansas: Serving 39 counties in the Southwest and South Central areas of Kansas.Community Children’s Center: Serving 16 counties in the Northeast area of Kansas.Child Care Aware of Eastern Kansas: Serving 17 counties in the Southeast area of Kansas.The Family Conservancy: Serving five counties in the Kansas City area.

More information on the program is available here.

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