Groups suggest solutions to child care shortage

Lawmakers and others agree Kansas is at a crisis stage when it comes to need and availability of affordable child care. Some have suggested solutions such as reduced training requirements, lower minimum age for staff and increased ratio of adults-to-children.


State News

March 9, 2023 - 1:39 PM

Melissa Rooker, executive director of the Kansas Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund, urged the Senate Commerce Committee to tackle comprehensive reform of the state’s child care system by drawing on expertise from those in the field rather than pass Senate Bill 282, which deals with the child care shortage by slashing staff training and increasing the adult-to-child ratio of daycare facilities. Photo by (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

TOPEKA — Three limited-government organizations, two child facility operators and one state senator Wednesday endorsed legislation crafted to alleviate a shortage of day care options in Kansas by reducing employee training requirements, lowering the minimum age of staff and increasing the ratio of adults-to-children in facilities.

There was consensus Kansas was at a crisis stage in terms of the gap between kids in need of child care and availability of affordable, quality placements. A Senate committee’s hearing on Senate Bill 282 also revealed a gulf between supporters focused on lowering regulatory obstacles in the child care business and critics arguing those changes would put children at risk and jeopardize federal funding.

The Senate Commerce Committee didn’t take action on the bill, but questions and comments by senators affirmed disagreements existed among lawmakers on how to proceed.

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