December 2020
In 2016, Nebraska became the second state in the nation to offer a tax credit to encourage early childhood professionals and programs to deliver high-quality services to our state’s youngest children. But there was a problem—technical errors in the language of the School Readiness Tax Credit Act prevented too many child care professionals—especially self-employed providers—from taking advantage of these financial benefits.

Working together, Nebraska’s early childhood community and state legislators got it fixed.
Refundable and nonrefundable credits will be available to more child care professionals and programs through the 2020 tax year, but time is running out to claim them on your 2020 tax return. NOW is the time to apply. It can take up to six weeks to receive needed paperwork to use on your tax return.

We provide step-by-step guides to help child care professionals move through the application process. They are available in English and for Spanish-speaking child care providers at the link below.

First Five Nebraska is proud to welcome Katie Bass as our new Data and Policy Research Advisor. Katie has significant professional experience in promoting children's outcomes through her work in Nebraska's child welfare and juvenile justice systems, most recently as research director for the Foster Care Review Office. 

Katie’s career path has led her to an interest in early childhood and how early experiences strongly influence the directions of children's lives. “Early childhood policies that are proactive instead of reactive help all Nebraska children, especially those most at risk,” she said. Read more

The Family Child Care Network at the Nebraska Early Childhood Collaborative (NECC) offers robust business and professional development tools to help family child care educators move from surviving to thriving.

NECC recognizes a growing need to support family child care educators as many across the state close their doors. Family care providers often are isolated with little prior business training or experience and limited access to support. All Network services are tailored to each provider and are free of charge. Read more
Nebraska parents, child care providers & community leaders discuss the lack of quality
child care options

FFN Deputy Director Elizabeth Everett joined State Senator-Elect Mike Flood for a virtual forum exploring how the lack of quality child care affects families and communities in northeast Nebraska and throughout the state. The event was hosted live in Norfolk and broadcast on News Channel Nebraska. Watch here

Everett discussed the economic implications of child care gaps outlined in our recently published Bottom Line research study, and screened the statewide My Nebraska Story campaign video, which explores how those gaps are experienced by parents, providers and employers in 11 Nebraska communities.

The Buffett Early Childhood Institute's Matthew Hansen gives us a look at how the Valley Child Development Center in Red Cloud is giving working parents peace of mind knowing their kids are safe and receiving high-quality learning experiences that will help them thrive.

Faced with a critical lack of local child care, community leaders banded together, and the result is a quality child care center that’s benefitting children, parents and employers who want to recruit and retain young families. Read more
For information on coronavirus in Nebraska or to take a health assessment survey, visit Test Nebraska. See the Nebraska Dept. of Health and Human Services website for a state overview, guidance documents, Directed Health Measures and many additional resources.