Sweeping bill would expand childcare and early childhood education in Kentucky

When Jessie Schook shares the joyful news that she’s pregnant with her first child, she says the response is often the same — especially among other female working professionals.
“The excitement is immediately followed by: ‘Are you on a list?’” Schook says.
What they’re asking is if she’s signed up for childcare — months before her baby is due to arrive in June. It reflects the deep anxiety among working parents to find affordable and quality childcare, Schook, a high-level executive with Kentucky’s vast community and technical college system, said Tuesday.
Republican Sen. Danny Carroll unveiled sweeping legislation on Tuesday that’s meant to shore up and expand the network of childcare centers across the Bluegrass State. Another objective is to bolster early childhood education, he said. One long-term goal, he said, is to someday make terms like “childcare” and “daycare” obsolete, replaced by early childhood education — no matter the setting or age of the child.
Carroll is proposing that the state pump $150 million per year into his bill’s childcare initiatives in the next two-year budget cycle, which begins July 1. The Republican-dominated legislature will put its finishing touches on the next state spending plan sometime next month.

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