Senator John Stinner held a hearing on interim study LR390 before the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee this week. The purpose of LR390 is to assess the fiscal and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Nebraska’s early childhood workforce and the early childhood care and education system.
Experts from the Nebraska Early Childhood Workforce Commission, a 40-member panel charged with developing a comprehensive plan for strengthening and expanding the state’s early childhood workforce, the state’s early childhood system, business and child care spoke about the impact of the pandemic on their ability to support families, communities and businesses while rebuilding the state’s economy.
In addition to Senator Stinner, testimony was offered by University of Nebraska President Ted Carter; Marjorie Kostelnik, UNL professor and co-chair of the Workforce Commission; Cathey Huddleston-Casas and Kate Gallagher with the Buffett Early Childhood Institute, which surveyed child care providers on their experiences during the pandemic; 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, an executive with TMCO, a longtime Lincoln contract metal manufacturing company.
FFN Deputy Director Elizabeth Everett offered insights into the Bottom Line, a recent report by FFN and UNL’s Bureau of Business Research that examines the annual economic fallout for Nebraska from the lack of sufficient child care.
Senator Stinner also asked parents and businesses to complete a survey on how the pandemic has affected them and their child care needs.
Media coverage of the hearing:
Lincoln Journal Star (also ran in the Columbus Telegram, Beatrice Daily Sun and the Fremont Tribune
Fox NE-KFXL, Lincoln
WJAG/Norfolk Daily News