Changes ahead for childhood program in Kansas

Some Kansas families will no longer qualify for an early childhood program when the state shifts to federal funding for the program.

Beginning in July, Kansas will pay for Parents as Teachers with federal dollars instead of state resources. Federal rules require the program to focus on serving low-income families and those facing other hurdles, like very low birth weight, or if a parent has a mental illness.

Nancy Keel, executive director of the Kansas Parents as Teachers Association, says families whose income exceeds the federal cutoff can benefit from the program, which provides home visits to support healthy development in young children and to identify any problem areas.

Eileen Hawley, spokeswoman for Gov. Sam Brownback, told The Topeka Capital-Journal ( the federal funding source ensures “a stable funding stream.”

Information from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal,