TOPEKA – Today, the Kansas Early Childhood Transition Task Force (ECTTF), established by Governor Laura Kelly through the first executive order of her second term, presented its final report outlining how the State of Kansas can better serve children and families.
The purpose of the Task Force was to examine Kansas’ early childhood system and identify steps the state can take to reduce burdens placed on families, increase accountability for early childhood programs, and eliminate inefficiencies and gaps in service.
“A key component of making Kansas the best state to raise a family is giving our children the strongest possible start to life,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “Thank you to the Early Childhood Transition Task Force members for their hard work, for listening to Kansans across the state this past summer, and for putting together a blueprint for action. Their final report will help me determine the best path forward to make early childhood services more accessible and affordable for all Kansas families.”
The Task Force’s final report, drawing from a series of public input sessions held across the state this past summer, highlights the need to consolidate services to reduce red tape and bureaucratic burdens on families navigating the system. Currently, four different state agencies are involved in providing early childhood services. The report recommends that Kansas unify its “early childhood care and education services into a single state entity.”
“I’m proud to have guided the Early Childhood Transition Task Force through its work this past year, said Sam Huenergardt, Co-Chair of the ECTTF. “Our final recommendation to consolidate Kansas’ early childhood care and education services into one entity would reduce the burden on children and families attempting to navigate the current system. Thank you to Governor Kelly and the Task Force for their dedication to Kansas families and future generations.”
Other recommendations include collecting and sharing data that could improve the provision and accountability of services and providing greater support for families and businesses looking to access or provide child care.
“It has been a true honor to serve as Co-Chair of the Early Childhood Transition Task Force,” said Cornelia Stevens, Co-Chair of the ECTTF. “The group’s commitment to improving systems and processes that will positively impact Kansas children and families was evident in every discussion. The recommendations provided were well thought out and will result in a more efficient and effective system for Kansas children and families.”
Governor Kelly will take the Task Force’s recommendations under advisement and now determine next steps for beginning the process of unifying Kansas’ early childhood services. The Task Force included representatives from business, government, advocacy, and early childhood sectors, as well as members of the Kansas Legislature. The Hunt Institute provided operational support and policy expertise to the Task Force’s efforts.
A full copy of the Task Force’s final report can be found here.