Child Care

In Kansas, we have a crisis in the child care market. Parents can't afford to pay more, providers can't afford to make less, and there's no easy or obvious solution. For now, let's just look at the facts - helpfully provided online - and updated in real time - by Child Care Aware of Kansas. 

As of March, 2024 we need to more than double the number of child care slots in our state to meet the current demand, with the current shortage coming in at 79,475 slots. That number can and probably should be alarming, but it's also worth thinking about what that means for kids in Kansas today.

79,475 children under 6 years old, whose parent(s) have full-time employment or are actively seeking it, do not have a space available for them in a child care program. If they formed a city - without their parents - it would be the 7th largest in the state, coming in behind Lawrence and ahead of Lenexa, Manhattan, and Hutchinson. More kids need child care in Kansas than the populations of Garden City, Dodge City, and Liberal combined.

Without a private solution, Kansans need to come together to find solutions that work for them and their communities. This crisis has been decades in the making, but we have had success recently with community coalitions innovating and at times, literally building new child care capacity from scratch.