Governor Laura Kelly Announces Step to Expand Child Care Access

TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) announced today proposed changes to child care regulations that would expand care options across the state. The suggested changes would allow licensed home providers to increase the number of children they care for if certain safety conditions are met, aligning Kansas with the national average child-to-provider ratio.

“We are working to make it possible for every Kansas family to find an affordable option for child care,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “That’s why we’ve proposed this change and are now wanting to hear from Kansas parents and caregivers about the best path forward.”

The proposed regulation, which will go through the required public comment period, is the culmination of input from parents, childcare providers, child safety experts, and business leaders across the state.

“Our work is to engage all stakeholders and individuals impacted by child care to ensure all voices are heard,” said KDHE Secretary Janet Stanek. “This is an important step towards improving and maintaining safe, stable, and nurturing child care facilities throughout the state.

Kansans are encouraged to provide input on the proposed amendments, which would break down barriers to child care access and give flexibility to providers while maintaining safe, quality care for Kansas children.

An informational meeting for licensed home providers will be held in an online-only format on October 24 from 6-7 p.m. Licensed home providers interested in participating in the meeting can join via Zoom. KDHE will hold a public hearing on October 28 at 10 a.m. at the Curtis State Office Building, 1000 SW Jackson Ave., Suite 530, Topeka, KS.

KDHE is also accepting written comments until October 28 at 5 p.m. via email to Amber Sellers at Include K.A.R. 28-4-114 in the subject line.

Click here to learn more about child care licensing and the upcoming regulation changes.

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2020 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.


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