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Resources to Help Nebraska Private Child Care Providers Create Strong Early Childhood Programs

We know that consistent high-quality interactions with adults promote healthy brain development in young children that sets them on a path to academic and life success.

As we move toward increasing the number of quality care and preschool programs in Nebraska, it’s clear that private child care providers have a role in preparing children to arrive at kindergarten ready to learn. 

Below is a compilation of resources for private child care providers in Nebraska who are pursuing early childhood interventions that narrow the achievement gap.

  • The Nebraska child care subsidy reimburses providers for caring for children at risk. For information on setting up a child care subsidy agreement, applying for child care grants for providers or to access the child care provider handbook, see Child Care Subsidy Information for Providers on the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services website.

  • Sixpence isn’t just for school districts. A new type of Sixpence grant (called the Child Care Partnership grant) funds services provided to infants and toddlers who are served in licensed child care programs that partner with school districts to close the achievement gap in their community. This effort is helpful in many communities who face challenges finding certified teachers for infants and toddlers, and also in communities without sufficient space on school property to start or expand their early childhood efforts. The first round of partnership grants is in progress, but email Amy Bornemeier at the Nebraska Children and Families Foundation or call at (402) 817-2018 for more information.

  • Step Up to Quality, Nebraska’s quality improvement and rating system, is a valuable tool for child care providers in any community, providing financial resources (including one-time bonuses and higher child care subsidy reimbursement rates) as well as non-financial resources (coaching, training, etc., to improve the quality of the program so that they do, in fact, offer the level of quality that closes the achievement gap). For program materials and other information or to enroll, visit the Step Up to Quality website or email program director Lauri Cimino or call her at (402) 471-0348.

  • The first of its kind designed specifically for statewide early educators, the Nebraska Early Childhood Exchange is a resource-rich platform for early childhood programs. It includes practical procedures, handbooks, business management and marketing tools, templates, child and classroom assessment resources, child care regulations, online training, bulk purchasing, discounts and much more.

  • Child care providers who want to start or finish an early childhood degree can access scholarship funds through T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood NEBRASKA. This effort provides scholarships to help early care and education professionals complete coursework at a local college and work toward a degree in Early Childhood Education. Scholarships are available for both associates and bachelor’s degrees. For more information, see the Nebraska Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) website or contact Tracy Gordon at NAEYC for call her at (402) 476-5658.

For additional questions about early childhood efforts that close the achievement gap, contact Becky Veak or Jen Goettemoeller at (402) 261-9671. 

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