Governor Kelly Announces $11M to Create Over 1,400 New Child Care Slots

Child Care Capacity Accelerator Grant Program has Awarded Over $55M to Create 5,655 New Child Care Slots Across Kansas

TOPEKA— Governor Laura Kelly and the Kansas Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund today announced a second round of funding awards to 27 statewide organizations to create new, sustainable licensed child care slots and support the expanded operation of high-quality affordable child care programs. These additional grant awards are part of the Child Care Capacity Accelerator Grant Program, designed to advance the rapid development of additional child care slots statewide.

In June, a first round of awards allocated over $43 million to 52 providers and community partnerships to create 4,211 new child care slots. This second round of funding allocates an additional $11.4 million to 27 organizations and providers to create an additional 1,468 slots. In total, the Child Care Capacity Accelerator Grant has allocated $55,018,294 to 67 communities and providers to create 5,655 high-quality child care slots. In both rounds, grantees were required to identify and secure private or community funding to qualify for grants, accounting for an additional $67.7 million in matching dollars to expand access to care.

“Building off the grants announced this summer, this funding will be transformational for families and communities across the state,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “Expanding access to high-quality, affordable child care will spur economic growth by allowing more families to participate in the workforce and support the healthy development of Kansas children.”

The initial round of Child Care Capacity Accelerator grants was provided through federal pandemic funding allocated to Kansas and private sources. The awards announced today are provided through the Department for Children and Families from the federal American Rescue Plan Act.

“Given the high demand for funding in the initial application process, as well as the well-documented need for additional child care capacity across the state, the Kansas Children’s Cabinet is delighted to be able to make additional awards. This is a win for Kansas families that will pay dividends for years to come,” said Melissa Rooker, Executive Director of the Kansas Children’s Cabinet. “We appreciate our partners at DCF for providing the extra funds to make this round of awards possible.”

These funds will primarily be used by communities and child care providers to support the costs of major operational start-up needs such as expanded staffing, improving training, and purchasing furniture and equipment.

A complete list of Accelerator grantees can be accessed at

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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