For Immediate Release
October 10, 2007

KDHE Office of Communications, 785-296-0461

KDHE Plans “Kansas Childcare in the 21st Century” Listening Tour

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has scheduled the Kansas Childcare in the 21 st Century statewide listening tour to interact with childcare providers, parents, advocacy groups and the public and to receive feedback on childcare goals, strategies, policies and regulations.

“We are focused on ensuring the safety of children, regardless of where they happen to live or the family’s income level,” stated Chris Ross-Baze, Director of Childcare Licensing and Registration at KDHE. “This will be an opportunity for everyone to design the best Kansas childcare system possible in the 21 st century.”

Kansas Childcare in the 21 st Century will facilitate discussion on child safety and early learning, and establish a process for continuous quality improvement of the statewide childcare system, including childcare homes, centers and preschools. Discussions will center on licensing, registration, inspection, economic factors, policies and regulations, and seek to identify developing issues.

Listening tour sessions are scheduled from 6:30-9:00 p.m. on the following dates at the locations indicated:

October 17, Wichita : Clarion Inn & Suites, 5805 W. Kellogg Dr.

October 18, Pittsburg: Pittsburg State University, Balkan’s Room, 1701 S. Broadway

October 23, Overland Park: Sheraton Hotel, 6100 College Blvd.

October 24, Garden City : Garden City Plaza Hotel, 1911 E. Kansas Ave.

October 25, Hutchinson : Grand Prairie Hotel, 1400 N. Lorraine St.

October 29, Salina : Best Western Mid-America Inn, 1846 N. 9 th St.

October 30, Hays : Sternberg Museum, 3000 Sternberg Dr.

November 1, Kansas City, Kan.: Hilton Garden Inn, Delaware Room, 520 Minnesota Ave.

November 5, Topeka: Holiday Inn Holidome, 605 SW Fairlawn Rd.

November 13, Manhattan: Clarion Hotel, Regency B II, 530 Richards Dr.

“The current system will be our starting point,” said Ross-Baze. “Our ultimate goal will be to maintain a network of childcare providers that is designed to better serve all children and youth in need of services.”

A team comprised of stakeholders from around the state will review the feedback received during the listening tour, and recommend policy changes to KDHE Secretary Roderick L. Bremby for a final decision.