Experts in early childhood shared the devastating impacts COVID-19 is having on our state's child care programs and professionals at a legislative hearing for LR390, an interim study introduced by Senator John Stinner. The study examines the financial and economic fallout affecting the early childhood workforce and industry, and sets the stage for discussions on how to finance a high-quality early childhood system in Nebraska.
In addition to Senator Stinner, legislators heard from University of Nebraska President Ted Carter; Marjorie Kostelnik, UNL professor and co-chair of the Workforce Commission; Cathey Huddleston-Casas and Kate Gallagher of the Buffett Early Childhood Institute; Stephanie Beasley from the Nebraska Dept. of Health and Human Services; Mariah Stowe, owner of Splash of Color child care in Lincoln and Diane Temme Stinton, CEO of TMCO, a longtime Lincoln contract metal manufacturing company.
During the hearing, FFN Deputy Director Elizabeth Everett shared findings from the Bottom Line, a recent report published by FFN and UNL’s Bureau of Business Research on the economic consequences of inadequate child care in Nebraska. Based on pre-COVID-19 data, the report shows Nebraskans experienced more than $745 million annually in combined direct losses impacting family incomes, business productivity and state tax revenues. The true picture is likely to be even more dire as the public health emergency continues to destabilize the state's child care industry.
As part of the LR390 study, Senator Stinner is asking parents and business owners across Nebraska to share their experiences with child care during the pandemic via a survey. A summary of responses will be shared with the Legislature's Appropriations Committee and others. Take Senator Stinner's survey