A state health official says Kansas has made strides in improving the quality of day care for children, although legislators raised concerns that funding could erode gains in the future.
Rachel Berroth, director of the Bureau of Family Health for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, told members of the legislative Health Policy Oversight Committee during a hearing last week that the changes put in place in 2010 helped the state improve its national rankings from among the lowest in the country at 41st to third as measured by an industry organization.
Berroth said her agency has been largely protected from cuts in state spending, and funding concerns shouldn't minimize gains already made.
"Don't misunderstand," Berroth said. "Standing here today talking about the success, it's all true. It's not Pollyanna."
The Topeka Capital-Journal reported that Berroth said stagnant resources means agency staffers are working longer days to enforce the expanded licensing and inspection requirements.
Sen. Roger Reitz, a Manhattan Republican, said he was uneasy about Kansas' recent shift toward not adequately funding state government programs and what that could mean for child care.
Berroth said county offices were also assisting with licensing and inspections, easing the burden on KDHE.