On Thursday, Salina Area United Way announced that the organization was awarded $1,872,100 to help create 187 new childcare slots in the Salina area. Funding was granted from the Kansas Children’s Cabinet Child Care Capacity Accelerator grant program. The grant will create 40 new infant slots in the community. The three centers benefitting from the Accelerator Grant are: Salina Family YMCA McAdams Center, Love N’ Learn, and St. John’s Missionary Baptist Church. A maximum of $43.5 million was awarded across the state, with this grant being very sought out and competitive. There was a total of $117 million in total requests for the state of Kansas.
The Accelerator grant was made possible by the Kansas Office of Recovery – SPARK health and education initiatives funding for childcare capital improvements and Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) – Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) Discretionary Supplemental funds and administered by the Kansas Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund (KCCTF) to support communities in creating sustainable, high-quality childcare. The purpose of the grant is to support community approaches to addressing childcare capacity, specifically through new construction, significant expansion, and major renovations of existing childcare facilities, launch operational support, and implementation of sustainable solutions. Funds will be used to build or make crucial improvements that create additional licensed childcare capacity.
“This grant is a huge step in the right direction in making positive changes for the childcare shortage we have in Saline County,” says Claire Ludes, Executive Director of the Salina Area United Way. “This is just the beginning of a much bigger plan to continue making childcare a priority for our community. We couldn’t be more grateful for this grant and the impact it is going to make in our community.”
In April, Salina Area United Way announced the start and opening of the Early Childcare Initiative Fund at their organization.
Salina Area United Way reported that it is working directly with the fund to look at the opportunities for renovation and expansion of current centers and spaces in the area.
“With existing rooms closed and existing real estate available to renovate, the number of potential slots through these avenues is a key starting point in addressing moving the needle in regard to childcare issues in Saline County,” says Ludes.