The entire state of Kansas is going through a shortage of child care services, which could affect more than 150,000 children.
The state of Kansas is going through a drought in regards to child care, a recent report shows. Child Care Aware of Kansas — who runs the state’s child services referral program — released the report that said that the entire state is going through a shortage. Some 160,000 kids under the age of six potentially require child care services.
Sedgwick County alone requires care for around 31,000 kids, but the county can only meet about 45 percent of that demand. One of the main issues that the report does not address is the cost of child care. The average cost for a four-year-old’s childcare in Kansas is about $650 a month, according to leading experts.
Kansas ranks 17th of all states on the report for most expensive child care, and Kansas is one of 33 states where infant care is more expensive than in-state tuition for a four-year college. Representatives from the Department of Children and Families are acknowledging that they must do their part in this crisis.
“We recognize that part of that involves providing support for child care programs, whether that is training child care workers, improving the quality of child care, or educating parents on how to select care for their children,” said agency spokesman Taylor Forrest.
Another possible solution is strengthening Kansas’s child care tax credit in order to boost avenues for attaining child care. The tax credit is due to a federal child care tax credit. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and Child Care Assistance — a weak safety net for low-income families requiring child care — benefits a meager eight percent of Kansas children who could be eligible, the Kansas Action for Children said.
“Streamlining requirements could allow more children to access it, as well as strengthening providers with a reliable customer base,” said John Wilson, the organization’s vice president of advocacy.
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