(The Center Square) – Kansas Governor Laura Kelly and the Kansas Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund announced a second round of funding to 27 statewide organizations to “create new, sustainable licensed child care slots and support the expanded operation of high-quality affordable child care programs,” a press release from the governor’s office said.
The grants were part of the Child Care Capacity Accelerator Grant Program. It was designed to “advance the rapid development of additional child care slots statewide,” the release said.
In June, the state awarded over $43 million to 52 providers and community partnerships to make 4,211 new childcare slots.
The second round of funding will provide $11.4 million to 27 organizations and providers to make an additional 1,468 slots.
Overall, the Child Care Capacity Accelerator Grant has provided $55,018,294 to 67 communities and providers to create 5,655 childcare slots.
The grant program required providers to find private and community funding to qualify for grants. This resulted in $67.7 million in matching dollars to expand childcare access. Combined, the state, private, and community funding averages out to $21,700 per child to create a new childcare slot.
“Building off the grants announced this summer, this funding will be transformational for families and communities across the state,” Kelly said in a press release. “Expanding access to high-quality, affordable child care will spur economic growth by allowing more families to participate in the workforce and support the healthy development of Kansas children.”
The state provided the initial round of Child Care Capacity Accelerator grants through federal pandemic funding allocated to Kansas and private sources. Additionally, the state provided the funding through the Department for Children and Families from the federal American Rescue Plan Act.
“Given the high demand for funding in the initial application process, as well as the well-documented need for additional childcare capacity across the state, the Kansas Children’s Cabinet is delighted to be able to make additional awards. This is a win for Kansas families that will pay dividends for years to come,” said Melissa Rooker, Executive Director of the Kansas Children’s Cabinet. “We appreciate our partners at DCF for providing the extra funds to make this round of awards possible.”
The communities and childcare providers will mostly use the funding to “support the costs of major operational start-up needs such as expanded staffing, improving training, and purchasing furniture and equipment,” the release said.
One can see a full list of Accelerator grantees here.