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Area Child Care Capacity Grant Awards Announced


KANSAS – Organizations in six mid-Kansas area counties will share in nearly $43.6 million in funding through Child Care Capacity Accelerator Grants approved Friday by the Kansas Children’s Cabinet. Two of the recipients will also be receiving Innovative Community Grants through the process.

The Reno County Child Care Task Force, in cooperation with the Hutchinson/Reno County Chamber of Commerce announced the receipt of two significant grants: a Child Care Capacity Accelerator Grant of $2,173,887 and an Innovative Communities Grant of $247,600. These grants, funded by the Department of Children and Families (DCF) and Kansas Office of Recovery, will substantially boost local child care capabilities.

These funds will be invested in eight crucial projects, four of which are located in Reno County. The total project cost of $5,661,224 will be partially covered by these grants, contributing to the creation of 308 childcare slots within the county. This increase in capacity will dramatically improve access to quality care for children from infancy to school age.

“This accelerator grant will be instrumental in helping us begin to address the child care needs of the future and we are excited to see these eight projects unfold with this support,” said Debra Teufel, Hutchinson/Reno County Chamber of Commerce president. “The Chamber, Greater Hutch and many local economic development partners are pleased to see this collaborative effort of many public and private partners working together with the city, county, school districts and state partners in leveraging the grant programs with other local match to meet the demands of families for the future.”

A portion of the ARPA funds from the City of Hutchinson and Reno County, amounting to $72,000, will be committed as matching funds to these projects. This investment reflects the region’s ongoing commitment to improving child care facilities and services.

Six organizations, totaling 8 projects, will benefit from this funding. All projects were required to meet project readiness standards and at least a 25% matching funds for their respective projects. The following list provides an overview of the projects and their respective funding:


Recipient OrganizationGrant FundingChild Care Spots
Hutchinson Regional Medical Foundation$769,21184
Buhler USD 312 (locations at Plum Creek Elementary and Buhler Grade School)$596,49478
Central Christian Preschool & Child Care$341,22529
City of Pretty Prairie$230,27918
Abundant Life Child Care & Preschool$159,81163
Haven USD 312 (locations in Haven and Yoder)$76,86736


The current child care deficit in Reno County is significant, with an estimated 1,800 additional slots currently needed. This challenge has been the primary focus of the Task Force’s efforts, and these grant awards are a testament to their hard work and dedication.

Additionally, the Innovative Communities Grant will support strategies to enhance child care capacity in Reno County, particularly for infants, a crucial area in need. The Task Force will use the funds to incentivize providers to accept infants, effectively increasing the availability of slots for this age group. A part of these funds will also be utilized for concentrated local training for providers, ensuring that they can continually enhance their skills while receiving wage reimbursements to maintain their financial stability.

These funds are an essential step towards reducing the child care deficit in Reno County but is truly just a start. The Task Force remains committed to advocating for high-quality, accessible, and affordable child care in the region.

Two of the capacity accelerator grants awarded were for less than requested, one much less. That was the request of the McPherson County Child Care Task Force, which was approved for $245,000 of the $1,145 million it requested to add 152 childcare slots. It did receive the full $250,000 Innovative Communities Grant applied for. The other application funded for less was from Advancing Barton County Children, Inc, which was awarded $2.238 million of the $3.457 million applied for to fund two of the three projects it proposed to add 177 slots.

The Hillsboro Child Care Center was awarded all the $855,216 it applied for to add 82 childcare slots. The USD 331 Daycare Center in Kingman was awarded $674,027 of the $720,122 it sought for 24 slots, and the Salina Area United Way was awarded $1.872 million of the just over $2 million it sought for 187 slots.