News from First Five Nebraska
September 2017


Our vision is that all Nebraska children begin kindergarten with the experience they need to become successful students and productive citizens.  


The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services has published its 2017 Child Care Market Rate Survey. 
The survey is used to set child care provider subsidy rates within the context of market conditions. Its purpose it to ensure children receiving assistance through the Child Care Subsidy Program have access to a pool of providers equal to the access of provider-paying families. 

First Five Nebraska is exploring ways of modeling the costs of high-quality child care with the goal of using this data to establish reimbursement rates that reflect the level of quality delivered by child care providers. 

Columbus Hospital, Community Benefit from New On-Site Child Care

When Columbus Community Hospital's management team learned employees were struggling with the high cost and low availability of quality child care, they began work to create an on-site child care center. 

The center showcases how on-site child care can reduce employee turnover, strengthen recruitment and trigger better options for kids and families in a community.

Quick Links
  • Researchers see link between kids' behavioral problems and parents who interact with devices such as phones, tablets or laptops during time with their children. Read More
  • Teacher home visits and summer classes helping incoming kindergartners learn social-emotional skills were very effective in easing the transition for students and their parents. Read More

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Nebraska Step Up to Quality 
Marks Third Anniversary 

Step Up to Quality ,  Nebraska's quality rating and improvement system, supports child care providers who are committed  to giving young children the strong start we know is so important.

Coinciding with Step Up to Quality's anniversary was debut of a new feature on its website--an  interactive map showing names and locations of participating programs across the state, along w ith their quality ratings. 

Lauri Cimino
Parents can use the map to make informed decisions when choosing child care for their children. Included with the map is contact information for each program, director's name, program type, number of children enrolled, license number and status. A list of programs also is available in a printable PDF format.

Read Step Up to Quality Director Lauri Cimino's guest blog post celebrating the program's growth over the past three years.

Crete's Daisy Ortiz and daughter Kayla took part in Strolling Thunder, an event aimed at drawing attention to legislation supporting babies, toddlers and their parents. 

The Buffett Early Childhood Institute this month announced results of a survey of 1,600 Nebraska early childhood workers. The findings point to significant challenges facing the early childhood workforce, including lack of livable wages and benefits, reliance on second jobs and public assistance, uneven and sometimes insufficient education and preparation, lack of diversity and stressful job environments.

Senator Matt Williams of Gothenburg spoke at the announcement event, saying Nebraska needs to step up and work for positive change in the early childhood workforce.

How do we know when children are ready for kindergarten? The ability to identify letters and numbers and have a working vocabulary are often used as benchmarks, yet these don't tell the whole story.                                                                                                                        Read More

 Senior Policy Associate Jen Goettemoeller spoke to   Leadership Nebraska's 2017 class on the critical role early   childhood plays in developing talent and our state's future   workforce.