First Five Nebraska’s Data and Policy Researcher Dr. Katie Bass testified at two hearings before the Nebraska Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee on Oct. 7. The hearings were for interim study resolutions LR266 and LR378, both introduced by State Senator Jen Day.
Interim studies are conducted annually after the Legislature has adjourned, and offer senators and legislative committees the opportunity to explore topics of interest. They frequently lead to future legislation.
LR266 is examining processes related to investigating reports of child abuse or neglect in licensed child care facilities. FFN’s testimony included two notifications identified during the study that would enhance parents’ ability to make decisions about their children’s child care. The two recommendations include notifying parents when a substantiated case of abuse or neglect has occurred at their child care and notifying parents of disciplinary actions against their provider due to licensing violations. Read FFN’s testimony on LR266.
LR378 is studying setting reimbursement rates for child care providers serving children utilizing the child care subsidy program. Nebraska uses a market rate survey to determine reimbursement rates, which has limitations and does not result in reimbursements that reflect the actual cost of providing quality early care and learning.
In her testimony, Bass emphasized that basing subsidy reimbursements on the price of child care rather than what it costs to provide quality care embeds a broken market into our system. This is especially true in low-income neighborhoods, with family home providers and in rural areas where prices, and therefore subsidy reimbursements, are more likely to fall below the cost of providing care. Read FFN’s testimony on LR378 Read FFN’s Policy Brief on LR378