KSDE Weekly

Upcoming Events, Trainings and Recognition

500 Kansans share challenges, successes during Early Childhood Transition Task Force tour

The Kansas Early Childhood Transition Task Force stopped in nine cities across Kansas last week during its Community Engagement Tour, allowing more than 500 Kansans to share insight and feedback on the successes and challenges affecting the early childhood sector. 

The task force stopped in Chanute, Wichita, Garden City, Hays, Salina, Manhattan Topeka, Overland Park and Kansas City. 

The Kansas Early Childhood Task Force was established in January of this year and is charged with reviewing Kansas’ early childhood care and education system and with developing a roadmap for creating a cabinet-level agency dedicated to supporting Kansas children. 

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. 

Amanda Petersen, director of Early Childhood at the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE), is a member of the task force. 

Those who attended sessions last week engaged in small-group conversation about three questions: 

  • 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? 

Main challenges that were commonalities in all nine cities included: 

  • Low compensation for early childhood professionals. 
  • Inconsistencies in policies, staff and family eligibility, and interpretation of guidelines. 
  • The length of time it takes to establish new services. 

Strengths that were discussed included local collaborations and community organizations. 

The Early Childhood Transition Task Force will meet next at 1 p.m. Aug. 17. 

For more information or to follow along with the task force’s work, visit Kansas Early Childhood Transition Task Force - Governor of the State of Kansas

Posted: Jul 6, 2023,
Comments: 0,
Author: Ann Bush

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