25 March 2021 | Early Learning

Hear what groups across Kansas have to say about a bill supporting child care

Kansas Action for Children
March 25, 2021

On March 24, nearly 20 organizations and individuals offered testimony to the House Taxation Committee in support of House Bill 2414. The bill would expand eligibility for the state's existing employer child care tax credit. As the pandemic has brought into plain view, child care is a necessity for the day-to-day operation of a household.

Here’s what some of those organizations and individuals said. Click on the name of the organization to read their full testimony. (You can see KAC's testimony here.)

The Chamber of Lawrence, Kansas: “Childcare is a two-generation workforce challenge. There is tremendous untapped economic potential if Kansas can step up to solve the childcare challenge. Many employers want to facilitate more access to childcare for their working parents but do not know where to begin.”

Child Care Aware of Kansas: “This bill represents bold action to lay the groundwork for private public partnerships in the creation of new child care infrastructure. Child care is essential to a thriving Kansas economy, and requires the active participation of businesses (including child care providers) and community partners.”

Children’s Alliance of Kansas: “State that have successfully addressed the need for child care and have higher child care subsidies report decreased rates of child abuse and neglect and increased workforce participation rates, particularly with low-come mothers.”

Coffeyville Area Chamber of Commerce: “We can give countless examples of business and industries who could not fill key positions because of the childcare crisis. Often, they have to recruit employees from other regions and even across state borders. Instead of living in Kansas, employees will commute from Oklahoma, impacting our sales tax, quality of life and so much more.”

Barry Downing, President of Northrock, Inc.: “The latest pandemic crisis has highlighted what those involved in early education have known for many years, which is the tenet that high-quality child care is critical infrastructure for our economic success. As we have all witnessed, child care does not only impact parents, but it also affects our schools, businesses and basic community services.”

The Family Conservancy: “At a time when both the supply and demand sides of the child care sector are facing significant challenges, HB 2414 will enable employers to tap into the underutilized tax benefits to support their employees. This is a win for all Kansans — employers, employees and children.”

Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce: “Expanding opportunities for Kansans to gain employment by removing barriers is a win-win for the business community and the state’s workforce. Increasing the number of available workers in the state will also make Kansas an attractive state to relocate or grow a business. We often hear from employers and employees, alike, that finding quality access to childcare is a significant impediment to entering, reentering or staying in the workforce.”

Kansas Chamber: “Access to childcare is a concern for all working families and HB 2414 is a positive tool to help employers who offer these services to offset costs associated with providing childcare access for their employees.”

Kansas Children’s Service League: “Analyses have shown that states meeting demand for child care assistance reported decreased rates of child abuse and neglect and studies have shown that higher child care subsidy expenditures significantly increase labor force participation and employment rates among low-income mothers.”

The Kansas Head Start Association “supports this bill because we know the importance of quality early care and education for young children. Brain research over the past twenty years has shown that a child’s brain grows and develops 95% of its capacity during the first five years of life.”

Legislature Early Learning Caucus: “Childcare is a critical need on par with broadband internet access, affordable housing, and affordable health care. We all want the best for our young children in Kansas.”

Overland Park Chamber of Commerce: “I had the opportunity to visit with some of our members who provide childcare benefits to their employees. They tout the overwhelming demand as one example of how important of a benefit this is to their employee’s productivity and retention. One employer told me they have an 18-month waiting list to get children into their onsite program and with each expansion, the waiting list barely changes.”

SugarCreek Packing Company: “Expansion of the Child Care Tax Credit for Employers would help SugarCreek partner with a longtime childcare provider in Southeast Kansas to provide high-quality child care for our employees. We are very interested in exploring this option, but as an S corporation we do not qualify under existing law.”

United WE: “Access to childcare greatly impacts a woman’s ability to stay in, or enter, the workforce because of social norms that still predominantly assigns women child rearing responsibilities and due to gender pay inequity. We’re working to correct both issues and believe this legislation is a step in the right direction.”

Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce: “The Chamber stands in strong support of the H.B. 2414 as we believe it helps more Kansans participate in the workforce. In turn this enables more Kansas citizens to earn greater income in pursuit of the American dream. It also solves a problem for firms struggling to find workers as our state comes out of the COVID-19 pandemic and the state returns to full employment.”

Joshua B. Zenger: “Finding quality care for our children is one of the most important decisions we make. It is expensive, stressful and scarce. It is hard to find both in the metro area we live in now, and the rural Kansas communities we each grew up in.”

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