FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 4, 2019

Policy priority briefs show incredible possibilities in store for Kansas kids and families

TOPEKA, Kansas – Every Kansas child — from birth to elementary school — should have access to high-quality early education, nurturing places and spaces, and routine health care. These investments in the early years create a rock-solid foundation for growth and development that lasts a lifetime. 

That’s why Kansas Action for Children is unveiling three policy priority briefs that show how we can start building that foundation today. Led by Director of Policy and Research Emily Fetsch, KAC staff have assembled these in-depth explorations with collaboration from subject matter experts. 

The briefs delve into KAC’s 2019-2020 policy priorities:

Quality, affordable early learning: It’s crucial that low- and moderate-income families have early care and education opportunities. Young children’s brains, and our state’s future, depends on it. Read more at: http://bit.ly/kaclearning

Paid family leave: Workers without paid leave face an impossible choice. They either don’t focus on caring for a family member – a new child or ailing relative – or they don’t work. That means lost wages or lost employment. A statewide program would help both individuals and workplaces. Read more at: http://bit.ly/kacfamily

Infant and maternal health: Kansas must ensure health care for expectant and new moms, improving birth outcomes and ensuring strong starts for children across the state. Read more at: http://bit.ly/kacinfant

“Our new policy priorities recognize the interwoven factors that help children thrive,” Fetsch said. “Not only do our policy priorities benefit children, but they benefit parents and the economy as well.” 

KAC has spent 40 years advocating for children and families and has notched major accomplishments, such as overturning destructive tax policy and defending the state’s main funding mechanism for early childhood programs. 

But as these policy briefs show, that’s only a prologue. We recognize that we can’t achieve our vision of making Kansas the best place to raise and be a child without tackling the legacies of unfairness created by systemic racism. Maintaining past gains simply isn’t enough. 

Taken as a whole, these proposals show how Kansas can create a future of incredible possibility and shared prosperity.