A Decade of Progress for the Youngest Nebraskans
First Five Nebraska was created in 2011 as the first organization in the state focused on advancing early childhood care and learning opportunities through policy change, strategic partnerships and public education. FFN has championed many of Nebraska’s most significant early childhood developments.
Strengthening services for infants and toddlers
FFN has been a steadfast champion of the Sixpence Early Learning Fund, Nebraska’s signature initiative supporting the healthy development of young children at risk, age birth to three. FFN was instrumental in obtaining $11 million in additional public funding for Sixpence in 2011 through passage of LB190, which enabled the Sixpence endowment to increase its reach to 31 grants statewide. In 2015, FFN spearheaded legislation to create Sixpence Child Care Partnerships, allowing a wider range of early care and education programs to benefit from Sixpence-funded services.
Improving quality and accountability in child care
FFN rallied policymaker and business support behind legislation to establish the state’s first child care rating and improvement system, the 2015 Step Up to Quality Act (LB507). Each legislative session, FFN continues efforts to increase quality, accountability and access to the child care subsidy program. Our work has also made it easier for child care professionals to benefit from the School Readiness Tax Credit (LB1206) and other initiatives designed to help providers succeed as educators and small business owners.
Elevating early childhood in economic development
FFN has been a leader in representing early care and learning as an integral component of economic development for over a decade, beginning with the establishment of the Nebraska Early Childhood Roundtable in 2011. Our partnerships with employers, chamber of commerce leaders and other stakeholders have promoted Step Up to Quality (LB507), Local Option Economic Development funding for child care (LB160), among other pieces of legislation affecting early childhood.