Start Young

Start Young

This collaboration is designed to improve child care in Wyandotte County, increasing access to high-quality, full-day, full-year child care for working families.

What is it?

Start Young is a public-private collaborative designed to improve child care in Wyandotte County, increasing access to high-quality, full-day, full-year child care for working families. This innovative three-year pilot program will impact 1,200 children.

The goal of the Start Young project is to expand CAPACITY and QUALITY of child care for Wyandotte County, as there is only capacity to serve approximately 34% of working families with young children; and a scarcity of high-quality, full-day and full-year programs. The Start Young project elements are delivered on-site at 16 child care providers in Wyandotte County who are serving at-risk children and families.

This three-year pilot grant from the Kansas Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund began on July 1,

2018. The project is matched dollar-for-dollar from the private sector, the project has an annual budget of $2M. The initiatives strategies established in this first year, include:

  • Quality Systems Support
  • Professional and Educational Incentives
  • Capacity Building

The Start Young initiative has helped us retain qualified staff by providing salary supplements to our staff twice each year.  This initiative has also helped our staff afford to further their education and we have had staff obtain their CDA credential and other degrees in early childhood education.  This program really makes a difference in improving the quality of early childhood education in Wyandotte County and Project Eagle is proud to be a partner.

- Kelli Roehr, M.Ed. 
Educare Director
Project Eagle-Educare Kansas City

What role does United Way play?

United Way of Greater Kansas City is proud to be one of partners chosen to support The Family Conservancy’s Start Young project. Additional partners include: Child Care Aware of Kansas©, Juniper Gardens Children’s Project, and Mid-America Regional Council (MARC).

Currently, there is only capacity to serve approximately 40 percent of working families with young children in Wyandotte County; and a scarcity of high-quality, full-day and full-year programs exists.
 

Contact: Jennifer Traffis, Director of Children and Family Services | Jennifer.traffis@uwgkc.org