Governor Kelly participates in groundbreaking for Community Children’s Center in Lawrence

On Thursday, Nov. 16, Governor Laura Kelly broke ground on the Community Children's Center’s...
On Thursday, Nov. 16, Governor Laura Kelly broke ground on the Community Children's Center’s 24/7 child care facility in Lawrence.(Office of Governor Laura Kelly)
Published: Nov. 17, 2023 at 5:19 PM CST
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LAWRENCE, Kan. (WIBW) - Kansas Governor Laura Kelly participated in a groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday, Nov. 16 for the Community Children’s Center to expand child care in Lawrence, Kan.

According to the Office of the Governor, last week, Governor Kelly announced that the Community’s Children’s Center received $4.9 million in Capital Projects Fund Accelerator funds through the Kansas Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund to build this facility and create nearly 140 more slots for child care over the 24-hour day.

“Expanding access to multi-purpose community facilities like the Community Children’s Center is a fundamental part of my commitment to making Kansas the best place in the country to raise a family,” Governor Kelly said. “Devoting resources to early childhood development and care and helping the next generation get a strong start to life is the smartest investment a community can make in its future.”

Officials with the Office of the Governor said the Community Children’s Center (CCC) is a nonprofit providing high-quality child care for infants to 5-year-olds in Douglas County as well as wrap-around support and co-located workforce development, educational programming, health monitoring services and broadband access.

According to Governor Kelly’s Office, the CCC’s Early Childhood Community Center will provide drop-in and occasional care with sliding-scale tuition. Additionally, the early Childhood Community Center will serve as a multi-purpose community facility, providing a hub of resources and services for families.

The funding was made possible by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) from the U.S. Department of Treasury Capital Projects Fund.

Kim Polson, Director of the Community Children’s Center, expressed enthusiasm as this is a milestone occasion and increases access to child care.

“We are thrilled to be at this milestone in increasing access to high-quality, affordable child care and improving the lives of both families with young children and early childhood professionals,” said Polson.

Melissa Rooker, Executive Director of the Kansas Children’s Cabinet, said they are delighted to continue to address child care needs across the state.

“The Kansas Children’s Cabinet is delighted to be able to continue to address child care needs in communities across the state,” said Rooker. “The Capital Projects Fund Accelerator offers the unique opportunity to embed high-quality child care in multi-purpose community facilities that address a wide range of community needs. The Community Children’s Center plans to serve as incubator space for employers in the Douglas County area, as well as offering a wide range of services through the family resource center model. The icing on the cake is the 24-hour child care program at the heart of their project plan. We are excited to help this project come to fruition in collaboration with the Lawrence – Douglas County community.”

The facility is planned to open in 2024.