In Kansas, 3,663 children under the age of three are enrolled in Early Head Start. Twenty-one percent of 4-year-olds are enrolled in state-funded pre-K and the Four-Year Old At-Risk program continues to provide high-quality early learning experiences for children the year before kindergarten. Kansas is also in its ninth year of the Kansas Preschool Program (KPP), which used the first seven years of the program to gather data from the Pre-K Pilot and KPP Practitioner Group to create a model that would allow children to enter kindergarten even more prepared. The average annual cost of center-based infant care in the state is $10,518.
- What the governor is saying: In his State of the State address, Gov. Sam Brownback called for legislative support of all-day kindergarten. His proposal would begin by phasing in new funding over five years and and would cost $80 million a year to maintain. In spring 2014, Gov. Sam Brownback also protected $5 million in early childhood funding by vetoing a plan to transfer the money to the Kansas Bioscience Authority, and signed the state’s $14.6 billion budget.
- Funding increases and additional support: Though it doesn’t appear Gov. Sam Brownback’s proposal to fund all-day kindergarten will be implemented this year, most of the state’s school districts are using blended funding models to cover the costs of all-day kindergarten programs and are even forging ahead with way initiatives to expand preschool in their own districts.