On July 5th I had the privilege of joining the Nebraska Early Childhood Collaborative (NECC) as the founding Chief Executive Officer. NECC is a new organization that uses a shared-services model to maximize efficiencies and raise the quality of early childhood education programs. At NECC we believe shared services are a good business strategy for Nebraska’s babies because:
- It’s a tough business. Taking care of Nebraska’s youngest children is a tough business. Finding qualified staff who are dedicated to providing high-quality care for the wages the industry offers is hard work for a team of seasoned human resources professionals, a luxury few providers can afford. And, for providers who access multiple funding streams to support the enrollment of children from low-income families, the complexity of the financial operations is also challenging. Yet, not unlike any other business, these back-office operations are critical to quality of service provided.
- Quality matters. Like anything you purchase, quality matters. Decades of research support the fact that access to high-quality early learning opportunities matters. Not only are children more likely to enter school prepared for success, high-quality early learning improves their chances for success later in life. While providing care for young children allows their parents to work, providing high-quality early care and education can do a lot more than that. In fact, access to high-quality early learning experiences can change the trajectory of a child’s life.
- Shared services can contribute to better quality. Shared services—human resources, fiscal management and professional development—for early learning providers can be part of the solution to providing cost-effective, high-quality care. NECC employs experts in these back-office areas that we “share” with our clients, allowing them to focus more of their resources and their time on what they do best … providing high-quality early learning programs for Nebraska’s youngest children.
While NECC is relatively new to the Nebraska landscape, shared services have been gaining momentum across the nation for a while. Visit the Opportunities Exchange to learn more about how shared services are helping the early learning field achieve financial sustainability and strong outcomes.
Chief Executive Officer
Nebraska Early Childhood Collaborative