Workforce Alliance and Child Start partner to promote Childcare Strategies for Employers


September 7, 2022


Workforce Alliance and Child Start partner to promote Childcare Strategies for Employers

One of the most challenging issues impacting both employers and job seekers is access to high quality and affordable child care. The evidence of this is overwhelming in the Wichita area, the state of Kansas and all across the nation. The child care crisis is well documented and complex, with no single solution. There is need for creative and innovative strategies and this is why the Workforce Alliance of South Central Kansas (WA) and Child Start Inc. are collaborating on an outreach campaign to engage area employers and businesses on tools, resources and best practices to overcome the barrier that childcare can pose to finding a job, or attracting talented workers.  

Over the next few weeks the WA and Child Start want to meet with business groups, employer associations and individual companies and deliver the simple message that there are actions that can be taken to get more people in the workforce and connect talented job seekers to good jobs. An obvious starting point for this campaign is the recent expansion of the Childcare Tax Credit in the State of Kansas.      

This program has existed since 1993, but the credit has only been available to large corporations and financial institutions for the last decade. In fact, the most recent data from this program shows that only $100,000 of the $3 million credit was claimed by eligible companies in Kansas. With the passage and signing of HB 2237 earlier this year, all Kansas businesses can now apply to receive a state income tax credit if they invest in helping employees access childcare.

“The expansion of the childcare tax credit is a great opportunity for employers to be proactive in how they attract and retain employees. Unfortunately, too few businesses know about the tax credit, or are aware of other ways to support their workers by making it easier to access and afford quality child care” stated Keith Lawing, President and CEO of the Workforce Alliance of South Central Kansas.  

With the average cost of child care per kid — specifically infant care — in Kansas at $680 per month in a home care environment and $1,259 per month in a center, parents need help. This expanded tax credit to all businesses begins to level the playing field so small businesses can attract and retain employees, parents can cover the costs of child care, and children can remain in stable, nurturing environments. 

The changes to the tax credit took effect on July 1, 2022, and Kansas businesses can apply to deduct from their state income taxes a portion of the child care expenses incurred including these examples:

  • Helping employees pay for or locate child care. The credit cannot exceed $30,000 per business per taxable year.
  • Establishing and/or operating a child care facility primarily used by dependents of the organization's employees.
  • Establishing and/or operating a child care facility in conjunction with other businesses/organizations primarily used by dependents of the organization's employees.

The outreach campaign will also highlight other activities and concrete strategies businesses can do to address child care challenges for their workers that include the following:

  • Offer a flexible work schedule – allow time for family issues and let parents work when they will be most productive.
  • Offer a consistent, predictable work schedule – Even if there were plenty of child care slots, workers with unpredictable work schedules can’t access them.
  • Institute an infants-at-work policy. It’s a low-cost solution.
  • Offer paid parental leave following the birth or adoption of a child. Workers are more likely to remain in a job if they can stay home with their children in the early months of life.


Tanya Bulluck, Child Start Program Director noted “Not only can more Kansas employers claim a tax credit, there are partnerships that can be developed with local childcare providers and we are excited to help area businesses identify these opportunities.” 

There are other strategies and partnership opportunities with local childcare providers where businesses can engage directly with their workers to better understand how to help address access to quality childcare.  Please visit WA website or Child Start website to request a speaker to discuss these strategies with your company or business group. This video also provides more details.