University of Kansas Childcare Training Partnership awarded $2.3 million

University of Kansas Childcare Training Partnership awarded $2.3 million

Ha Tran

LAWRENCE – Two previously independent early care and education training programs are collaborating to provide professional development opportunities and technical assistance to childcare providers across Kansas, with a total grant of $2.3 million awarded through the Kansas Department for Children and Families (KDCF).

The partnership between the Kansas Inservice Training System (KITS), based at the University of Kansas, and the Kansas State University-affiliated Kansas Child Care Training Opportunities, Inc. (KCCTO), is designed to increase the quality of service that childcare providers can deliver to children and their families, said David Lindeman, KITS director. Through June 30th, 2021, grant funding will help to address the professional needs of infant-toddler caregivers, teachers, organizations, and families throughout Kansas. 

“This is an exciting project that has the opportunity to provide significant support and promote positive change in Kansas related to the training needs of early care and education professionals across the state,” Lindeman said. “We anticipate that this project will support improvement in the quality of care.” 

Lindeman said that the partnership highlights the strength of both organization

Based at the KU Life Span Institute in Parsons, Kan., KITS is known for its expertise in highly focused technical assistance and training for early intervention programs for children with disabilities and their families. Through this new partnership, it will provide comprehensive statewide professional development and technical assistance for home childcare providers and center-based programs. The KITS technical assistance plans help increase the knowledge, skills, educational level, and competencies of caregivers, teachers, and directors serving infants and toddlers. Activities are focused on increasing knowledge. KITS disseminates materials and dissemination of materials that support healthy, safe, and nurturing environments through planned and focused instruction, while helping participants to foster connections with the national, state, and community resources on childcare development. 

KCCTO's strengths lay in the online training that provides quality professional development opportunities for childcare providers. KCCTO is a non-profit organization and a sponsored project of Kansas State University.  It provides high-quality early education courses and training to all family childcare providers, childcare center staff, and early education professionals in Kansas. The program, available in online formats and offered through several comprehensive training courses, is an expanded professional resource for Kansas residents working in childcare to help them demonstrate their competency in the field.

The KCCTO-KITS program is presented to infant and toddler childcare providers through a model based on the intensity of the service, with three levels of support available.

Although there is no specific certification for completion of the program, childcare providers can apply or use the hours of training they receive for their childcare licenses.