Committed to the Core:
– A Critical Gap in Development Plans for Downtown Wichita

A renaissance is underway in downtown Wichita. Our hometown spirit is seen everywhere: on flags, tags, t-shirts, at many local festivals and events. As announcements of grand openings circulate, the blueprints for projects yet unveiled are contemplated by civic leaders and business developers. It is clear: our local pride is bursting at the seams. As a community, how do we expand on this positive momentum and sustain our progress into the future?

We should start at the beginning. We should be committed to the core.

Center City Academy is a non-profit early child development center that will provide affordable, high-quality child care for people living and working in Wichita’s urban core. The opportunity to create a more contemporary outreach to serve the needs of the redeveloping core is apparent. Research shows that the number of available openings in child care facilities in Sedgwick County can serve only 48% of the number of children under the age of six needing care. 

The new facility will support the latest in advanced technology systems and teaching methods to achieve the highest level of security and early childhood developmental practices. Center City Academy purchased a one acre lot conveniently located on the 700 block of South Topeka, just south of Kellogg, within blocks of downtown employers.


Return On Investment: A Win for Wichita

We believe Wichita’s families with young children are not only our future, but necessary for our sustained growth and prosperity as a community. In the recent publication of the 2020 State of Downtown Report, Project Downtown has driven more than $1 billion of public and private investment to our urban core over the past 10 years. It is also noted that Wichita’s Downtown is described as an “employment epicenter.” But who will fill these positions and what will they be paid?Who will care for their children while these employees work in the hotels, restaurants and bars, corporate headquarters and retail stores? 

The bottom line is an investment in early childhood development is a WIN-WIN-WIN-WIN for Wichita. It’s a WIN for the child who becomes a better student, a productive adult, a dependable candidate for employment and an independent community leader. It’s a WIN for the parent who, with the availability of safe, affordable child care, becomes a more emotionally stable parent and reliable employee. It’s a WIN for the employer and investor who recognize the benefit of retaining a vibrant, responsible workforce while maintaining strategic wage end employee expense. And, it’s a WIN for a stronger community because quality early childhood development contributes to breaking the cycle of poverty, overall community health and economic growth. 

Board of Directors

Kristin Bogner, National Association of Secondary School Principals- Secretary, Events Chair

Sally Chesser, Chesser CPAs, Retired- Treasurer, Finance Chair

Nancy Crandall, Speech Pathologist, Retired

Ben Jennings, Cox Media, Development Chair

Betty Moore ASID, Retired, Founder Downtown Daycare Center President

Rebecca Moore, Assoc. Broker, Golden Inc Realtors, Vice President

Becca Newman, Greater Wichita Partnership

Joel Rodell, Hutton Construction

Dr. Natalie Sollo, KU Wichita Pediatrics, Grace Hill Winery

Lauri Stuber, Cargill, Governance Chair

Gregg Wilhite, LK Architecture, Retired