The Greater Kansas City Early Care and Education Landscape Study

Given that research shows early care and learning programs can have an important impact on children’s school readiness and later success in life, the Kansas City Pre-K Collaborative commissioned a landscape survey to better understand the existing early care and learning programs within Jackson County, Missouri and Johnson and Wyandotte Counties in Kansas, and to provide concrete information to use for future planning and investment.

The survey was carried out by The Family Conservancy (led by Dean Olson, Paula Neth, and Jenny Brandt) and researchers at Juniper Gardens Children’s Project (Judith Carta, Charles Greenwood, and Gaby Guerrero) in collaboration with Wayne Mayfield (of the Office of Social and Economic Data Analysis, University of Missouri-Columbia). The survey focused on three types of state-regulated early childhood programs: school-based, center-based, and home-based programs.


Early care and education programs that had greater access to financial resources also were most likely to be rated higher on indicators of quality. In general, programs run by school districts had the most financial resources and performed better on quality indicators, followed by center-based early education programs, and then home-based child care.

With this comprehensive look at early education programs throughout the metropolitan Kansas City area, local funders have a clearer idea of the best ways to invest in this important area to support young children and their families in our community.

Download the Executive Summary