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Kansas Early Childhood Transition Task Force embarks on community engagement tour

Kansas Early Childhood Transition Task Force embarks on community engagement tour

The Kansas Early Childhood Transition Task Force Community Engagement Tour is underway this week. The task force is visiting nine cities across the state to discuss successes and challenges affecting the early childhood sector. 

So far, the task force has stopped in Chanute, Wichita, Garden City, Hays and Salina. Today, it will visit Manhattan and Topeka. 

The Kansas Early Childhood Task Force was established in January of this year to create “a framework for a model single-agency governance structure for early childhood programming that consolidates initiatives and funding under the leadership of a new cabinet-level position.” 

The task force is led by two co-chairs and consists of: 

  • The secretary of the Kansas Department for Children and Families; the secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment; the executive director of the Kansas Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund; the Secretary of Commerce; and the Commissioner of Education (or designees). 
  • Representatives from business or chambers of commerce; philanthropic organizations; service providers or industry organizations; and advocacy groups. 
  • Members of the Kansas House of Representatives and Kansas Senate. 

More than 100 people attended the two sessions on Tuesday, according to Amanda Petersen, director of Early Childhood at the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE). Those in attendance at any session this week engage in small-group conversation about three questions. Those included: 

  • What challenges, gaps or barriers have you and your community faced while navigating the early childhood system? 
  • What services and programs are currently working on the local level and serve as bright spots for progress in supporting young children and families? 
  • How would you evaluate the state’s efficiency in providing support to you and your community in the early childhood sector? 

The community engagement tour meetings are open to the public. Only two more meetings are available. Those are: 

Friday, June 30 

  • 10 a.m.: Overland Park - Shawnee Mission School District/Center for Academic Achievement: 8200 W. 71st Street, Overland Park. 
  • 1 p.m.: Kansas City - Children’s Campus of Kansas City: 444 Minnesota Ave, Kansas City, Kansas, third floor. 

The task force will develop and submit an interim report on its work to Gov. Laura Kelly by July 1, with a final report by Jan. 1, 2024. 

Posted: Jun 29, 2023,
Comments: 0,
Author: Ann Bush

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