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Kentucky had an outside-the-box idea to fix child care worker shortages. It’s working


With most of the federal government’s pandemic relief money for child care now spent, it’s up to states to step in with new ideas to solve the many problems plaguing the sector.

A year ago, Kentucky came up with a creative solution that is already paying dividends.

The state made all child care employees eligible for free child care, regardless of household income.

“That is a beautiful incentive,” says Jennifer Washburn, who owns and runs iKids Childhood Enrichment Center in Benton, Ky. “Any of my teachers who have children — they can work for me, and their children are paid for by the state.”


Source: National Public Radio (2023). Kentucky had an outside the box idea to fix child care worker shortages. It’s working.