January 2020
School Readiness Tax Credit bill for early childhood providers advances
The 2020 session of the 106 th Nebraska Legislature is well underway with 482 new bills and 10 constitutional amendments introduced for the short, 60-day session. Over the next 30 days the 14 standing legislative committees will conduct a public hearing for each new bill.

Committees hearing bills pertinent to early childhood this session include:

  • Health and Human Services, Senator Sara Howard, Chair
  • Education, Senator Mike Groene, Chair
  • Appropriations, Senator John Stinner, Chair
  • Urban Affairs, Senator Justin Wayne, Chair
  • Government Military and Veterans Affairs, Senator Tom Brewer, Chair
  • Business and Labor, Senator Matt Hansen, Chair
  • Judiciary, Senator Steve Lathrop, Chair

Although property taxes and a new business development tax incentive program will be the top priorities this session, First Five Nebraska is happy to see several senators introduce a variety of early childhood bills. We look forward to testifying in support of several of these new policy proposals.

At this point in the session, the full legislative body conducts floor debate in the mornings and public hearings in the afternoons. Senators have spent the past few weeks debating carryover bills from last session, but as issues make their way through the committee process, senators will begin debating 2020 priority bills.

LB266 on Final Reading
First Five Nebraska has been fortunate to work with Senator Brett Lindstrom on LB266 this session. LB266 is a carryover bill that was on General File, the first round of debate. It corrects eligibility problems with the School Readiness Tax Credit Act. Senators have discussed the merits of the bill in floor debate and have advanced it to Final Reading. We’re excited to see so many senators support this important legislation and we’re eager to continue working with them to pass it. 

First Five Nebraska monitors the Legislature and provides updates on all early childhood bills. Please view our website’s Nebraska Legislation page for the latest information. As always, First Five Nebraska will continue to support policies that provide quality early learning environments for all children.  

Early Childhood Workforce Commission Releases Report

Hundreds of people gathered in Lincoln and online January 30 for release of the Nebraska Early Childhood Workforce Commission report . The report outlines recommendations in response to the urgent need to prioritize the early childhood workforce in Nebraska for our children, families and communities. Included in the goals are ensuring the early childhood workforce is highly qualified, diverse and fully funded. Former FFN Director Becky Veak served on the three-year Commission project.

In Nebraska we regularly celebrate independent business owners, sole proprietors and entrepreneurs. It’s time we recognize and celebrate family in-home child care providers for the role they play in the success and quality of life of their communities.

Welcome Interns!

We'd like to introduce our interns for the semester -- Alyssa Ehler and Daniel Young.

Alyssa is studying political science and economics at UNL and will graduate in May. Throughout school, she has worked in rural economic development, trade and student affairs at the University.

From Bellevue, Daniel is a junior at UNL majoring in political science. He comes to First Five Nebraska with experience that includes an internship in Senator Justin Wayne's office, working as a voter canvasser and on a mayoral campaign. Following graduation, Daniel plans to pursue a master's degree in public policy with the intent to ensure all people can have an equal opportunity to succeed regardless of race, income or background.
Save the date!

Elevate20 is Saturday, June 6, at the University of Nebraska Kearney.

"Quality" child care is about developing healthy children as well as healthy businesses.
Elevate is a business summit for child care providers that connects them with experts in the child care industry, as well as other providers across the state.

Quick Links

Congratulations to Wood River's  Stick Creek Kids  on receiving a $60,000 grant from the  Greater Grand Island Community Foundation  toward development of their new child development center! The center will offer preschool for 3-year-olds and before and after school care and summer education opportunities.

There was an impressive turnout and great audience discussion at the Hall County showing of No Small Matter this month. FFN's Business Engagement Associate Mike Feeken participated in a panel discussion following the film.

Hall County Community Collaborative sponsored the screening and says they look forward to future discussions on the importance and impact of high-quality early childhood experiences in a child's first five years. Keep the momentum rolling Hall County!