Kansas Action for Children was founded four decades ago under leadership from the Junior League of Topeka, Junior League of Wichita, Junior League of Johnson & Wyandotte Counties, and the Kansas Children’s Service League. These four organizations came together with a mission to establish an independent voice in the state for Kansas children. Since that time, KAC has grown to become one of the leading child advocacy organizations in the country. Through support from individuals and private foundations, KAC has worked alongside legislators and community leaders to achieve tremendous results on behalf of the more than 705,000 kids who call Kansas “home.”
To shape health, education and economic policy that will improve the lives of Kansas children and families.
To make Kansas the best state to raise — and be — a child.
Over four decades, Kansas Action for Children has worked alongside lawmakers and citizens to improve the lives of Kansas children and their families. Whether it’s impacting legislation at the Statehouse in Topeka or making sure Kansas children are represented in the halls of power in Washington, D.C., KAC works tirelessly to give our most vulnerable citizens — Kansas children — a voice that is heard.
As a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, KAC would not be successful without the generous support of individuals, businesses and private foundations. Thousands of Kansans — like you — have joined together to ensure that KAC’s work continues to make Kansas the best place to live, work and raise a family. Together, we are making the difference for Kansas children, Kansas families and our future. If you have not already joined the KAC team, or if you would like to renew or expand your support for KAC’s mission, please click here.
KAC’s work focuses on the three core essentials that every child needs in order to reach his or her full potential: health, education and economic stability. Among the results our donors have helped us achieve in these areas over the past 40 years are:
Child Care Licensing and Regulation. Facilitated complete overhaul of child care licensing to ensure every child care facility in Kansas is inspected and registered. Parents can now review child care providers in an online database before choosing care for their children.
Children’s Health Care. Addressed the fastest-growing group of uninsured children in Kansas – those living between 200 and 250 percent of poverty – by extending the eligibility level of HeathWave, our state children’s health insurance program. By improving access to health care, more Kansas children will grow up healthy and capable of reaching their full potential.
Healthier Schools. Provided Kansas schools with the resources they need to create healthier school environments through funding for the Kansas Coordinated School Health program. By reinforcing healthy eating and exercise habits at school, Kansas children are less likely to grow up overweight or obese, and more likely to be healthy as adults.
Teen Safety Belts. Implemented a safety belt requirement for Kansas teens. With added incentive to buckle up, more teens are likely to survive potentially-fatal car crashes and we can reduce medical and insurance costs associated with teen car crashes in Kansas.
Newborn Screening. Updated state policy to ensure that newborns in Kansas were being screened for 29 medically-recommended conditions rather than only seven conditions. By identifying the presence of these treatable metabolic conditions at birth – through a simple blood test already performed by hospital staff – Kansas newborns are less likely to develop harmful or fatal conditions, and less likely to face costly medical treatment later in life.
Child Booster Seats. Implemented a booster seat policy that takes into account the fact that adult safety belts are not designed to fit younger children. With parents informed about the need for booster seats to properly protect younger children, Kansas children are more likely to survive potentially-fatal car crashes.
Immunizations. Increased access to timely immunizations in areas of the state that have traditionally experienced low childhood immunization rates. By providing the resources for nursing staff to give shots and track immunizations at Women, Infants and Children (WIC) clinics, more Kansas children and communities will be protected from preventable and costly outbreaks.
Oral Health. Prioritized the role that oral health plays in the overall health of Kansas children by advocating for development of a State Oral Health Director position. By focusing on oral health and prevention, more Kansans will be healthy as children and as adults.
Child Care Assistance. Ensured the ability of low-income parents to remain in the workforce. By maintaining eligibility levels for the Child Care Assistance program, more Kansas children will experience positive interactions during the critical first few years of life while their parents continue to work.
Children’s Initiatives Fund. Designated a public funding stream for results-oriented early childhood programs. By investing in early education for at-risk Kansas children, our next generation will be better positioned to thrive in school and in the workforce.
Afterschool Resources. Increased access to afterschool programs for Kansas children by establishing a designated public funding stream. By creating opportunities for more middle-school students to participate in afterschool programs, more Kansas youth will be equipped to make healthier lifestyle choices and to explore potential career paths.
Pre-Kindergarten. Improved the availability of Pre-Kindergarten opportunities in rural and underserved communities. By expanding Pre-K to additional Kansas communities, more preschool-age children will have the opportunity to gain the social and cognitive skills they need to succeed to school and in life.
Early Head Start. Expanded the Kansas Early Head Start program to reach more eligible children and families in underserved and rural areas. By reaching into 70 counties that previously did not have Early Head Start services, more Kansas families – with children ages birth to 4 – will be better equipped to provide the resources their children need to reach their full potential.
Quality Infant and Toddler Care. Increased access to quality child care for infants and toddlers through quality care initiatives. By ensuring the availability of more trained caregivers for children ages birth to 3, more Kansas children will receive the care they need during the infant and toddler years.
Child Support Enforcement. Over four consecutive years, implemented additional tools to enforce child support orders in Kansas, including limitations on hunting/fishing licenses, drivers licensing sanctions, professional license sanctions, and the use of insurance liens. With increased incentives for compliance, parents in Kansas are more likely to receive consistent payments to support their children.
College Savings. Adopted and made permanent the KIDS Matching Grant Program, which provides a dollar-for-dollar match for qualified families that establish a 529 College Savings account and save for their children’s education. With incentive to save for college or job training programs, Kansas children in low-income and rural areas will be more likely to pursue a higher education or vocational skills. KAC also spearheaded legislation to allow private donors and charitable organizations to contribute to KIDS accounts.
TABOR Prevention. Twice defeated passage of TABOR, the most damaging tax and budget limitation in the country. The blockage of TABOR maintains the ability of our state to respond to new opportunities and challenges, and allows state and community leaders to protect the way of life upon which Kansas families and businesses depend.
Inflation Index on Food Sales. Improved the affordability of grocery items for low-income Kansas families. By indexing the Food Sales Tax Rebate for inflation, qualified families will continue to receive a tax benefit for sales taxes paid on groceries, and that benefit will factor in any increases in grocery prices.