Childcare Initiative


The Early Childcare Initiative

Salina Area United Way has started an Early Childcare Initiative. Through the Early Childcare Initiative, our organization plans to make strong and sustainable steps towards combating the childcare crisis in Saline County.

Through the Early Childcare Initiative, the Salina Area United Way will be working towards achieving long-lasting, meaningful change and impact in the community; this change will serve to enhance and grow quality support in early childhood development. To help further the progress of the Early Childcare Initiative, Salina Area United Way will develop and maintain relationships with community partners, community investors, local community programs and local childcare providers.


Our Plan:

The initiative consists of a two-fold plan that will address the crisis in the "now" and also in the future. Through the Early Childcare Initiative, we plan to increase wages across the existing centers in Salina. Salina Area United Way created the Early Childcare Initiative Fund to help combat the wage issue, among many other childcare issues in our community. Currently, Saline County is not seeing a pipeline of providers in the early childcare field due to the drastically low wages. To address this, wages must be increased for students to want to choose early childcare as their future pathway and it to be seen as a viable, living income.

Nonprofit centers will have the ability to apply for sustainability grants from the Salina Area United Way to combat the wage gap once funds have been raised. The sustainability of the plan (or the future) is addressed by an endowment fund, where money will be put away to draw from in the future.


"Wages have been pinpointed as the number one critical piece as to why we're struggling to retain childcare workers and keep rooms open at centers in Saline County. How can we expect to gain quality staff in local childcare centers at a poverty level wage?"  - Claire Ludes | Executive Director at Salina Area United Way




children in Saline County currently in need of child care.


slots have been created by the Early Childcare Initiative Fund so far.


brought into the Early Childcare Initiative Fund so far from grants, foundations, businesses and individuals.