Archive for Thursday, February 26, 2004

Letters to the editor

February 26, 2004

To the editor:

One billion dollars. If someone were to offer you a dollar a second until you received one billion dollars, would you be willing to stand there until you received the entire amount? Judge Bullocks' decision on the school finance formula decreed that Kansans should come up with one billion dollars to fix the formula. Please figure out how long it would take to receive the billion dollars at one dollar a second.


Answer: About 32 years.

Leo Kerwin

To the editor:

Baldwin Care Center is embracing education and providing opportunities for several local schools in the area. With a nursing shortage and need for certified caregivers Baldwin Care Center has opened its doors to provide a clinical setting so students can further their education.

Several students from Lawrence attend Neosho County Community College Nursing School. They rotate two clinical groups through Baldwin Care Center and on to Lawrence Memorial Hospital. The number of students at the Ottawa campus has increased to meet the demanding need of nurses in Douglas County and surrounding areas.

Baker University Sociology Department offers a class on Aging in Society. Students are required to volunteer two hours per week at Baldwin Care Center keeping a journal and writing a paper on their experience at the end of the semester. This in turn allows this generation of students to experience what the generations before them have endured and accomplished. It also brings them the awareness of the growing elderly population.

Certified Nursing Assistant classes are offered and taught twice a year at Baldwin Care Center. We work closely with Baldwin High School to provide spaced in the class for students who are interested in the nursing field.

Baldwin Care Center understands the need for facilities to provide learning opportunities. The growing concern of shortages in the nursing profession and certified caregivers nationally is at an alarming rate. We are honored to be a part of educating future caregivers and allowing them to touch the lives of our residents.

Lori Roberts
Baldwin Care Center

To the editor:

As the Governor and the Legislature work on designing a viable economic development plan in an effort to create jobs and boost revenues, we want to make sure that one growing industry in Kansas is not overlooked. That industry is early childhood care and education, upon which nearly all other businesses and industries are dependent.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in March 2003 wrote that "early childhood development programs are rarely portrayed as economic development initiatives, and we think that is a mistake. Such programs, if they appear at all, are at the bottom of the economic development lists for state and local governments. They should be at the top."

In the short term, investments in early learning have shown to immediately impact a company's bottom line. It is estimated that up to $4 billion is lost in the U.S. due to family problems that interfere with work and productivity. Quality early child care programs lead to reduced absenteeism, reduced turnover, increased productivity and increased commitment to employer. In the long term, quality early learning and child care builds a better-trained workforce. Children in these programs tend to complete higher levels of education, make higher wages, and are in the justice system less often.

The child care industry itself is a major player in the Kansas economy. The Mid-America Regional Council found that there are more than 8,645 small businesses in the state engaged in child care, directly employing more than 14,370 people, serving more than 100,000 children, and generating gross receipts of more than $500 million per year.

The Kansas Children's Campaign and the Kansas Children's Cabinet are supporting an enhancement of Smart Start Kansas, which is an initiative that provides funds to local communities to help provide quality early care and education programs. This is a smart investment in the short term, and a smart investment in the workforce of the future in Kansas.

Jill Docking
William C. Nelson
Kansas Children's Campaign

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