Policy Priorities

Count on us to help keep you informed about policies that affect our youngest Nebraskans.

Nebraska Early Childhood Legislation

Informed citizens and advocates play an important role in Nebraska’s political process. First Five Nebraska monitors and reports on legislation in the Unicameral related to the care and education of young children. This includes policy developments affecting child care, the early childhood workforce, economic development, maternal and child health, prenatal-to-age-3, K-3 education and a wide range of related issues.

Policy Priorities

The second session of the 107th Nebraska Legislature adjourned sine die April 20. A number of bills passed during the session affect the care and development of young children. First Five Nebraska was fortunate to work on legislation with several senators, and the bills signed into law appropriated $4 million in federal funding to expand or start child care programs in communities, recommend maternal depression screenings during perinatal care and well-child visits, increase child care subsidy reimbursement to 75% of the market rate, require notifying the Department of Health and Human Services of alleged out-of-home child abuse or neglect by a licensed child care provider and allow early childhood programs to participate in farm-to school activities. See this website’s Track Legislation page for information on these bills and many others.

2022 Interim Studies

First Five Nebraska will partner with state senators on five interim studies this year. Conducted annually after the Legislature has adjourned, interim studies give senators and legislative committees the opportunity to delve deeper into topics of interest, and frequently lead to future legislation. 

LR266 | Child abuse and child neglect reports in licensed child care facilities
  • Introducer: Senator Jen Day (District 49)
  • Summary: LR266 will examine processes relating to investigation of reports of child abuse or neglect in licensed child care facilities. Abuse and neglect in early childhood has profound and lasting impacts on children’s development. It’s important that families are made aware of such allegations and data is gathered to help policymakers understand the scope of the issue.
  • FFN hearing testimony
LR327 | Severe maternal morbidity
  • Introducer: Senator Tony Vargas (District 07)
  • Summary: LR327 will study severe maternal morbidity and make recommendations to improve the quality of care for mothers and babies. It will look into best practices related to maternal morbidity prevention, known causes of maternal morbidity in Nebraska, the current system of monitoring maternal morbidity, maternal morbidity disparities among demographics in Nebraska, programs that might address the issue and statutory and administrative changes that might improve outcomes.
LR367| Home visitation for families in Nebraska
  • Introducer: Senator Wendy DeBoer (District 10)
  • Summary: LR367 will look at the home visitation system for Nebraska families. This study will collect existing data for home visitation programs, review the number of parents and children impacted, examine existing federal, state and local funding sources, review potential statutory and administrative changes to support home visitation and determine whether additional funding is necessary.
LR378 | Child care subsidy reimbursement rates
  • Introducer: Senator Jen Day (District 49)
  • Summary: LR378 will examine the process for determining the reimbursement rate for the child care subsidy program and whether rates sufficiently cover the cost of providing quality child care. It will include the market rate survey, analysis of monthly subsidy billing available to providers, a comparison of market rate to the cost of providing quality care, analysis of total expenditures on the child care subsidy program in Nebraska, a comparison of rate-setting processes between states and alternative methodologies that might be implemented to set reimbursement rates.
  • FFN hearing testimony
  • FFN Policy Brief
LR415 | Health insurance for early childhood educators
  • Introducer: Senator Mike Jacobson (District 42)
  • Summary: LR415 will explore the lack of access to quality and affordable health insurance for Nebraska’s early childhood workforce as well as potential solutions. A lack of health insurance benefits leads to increased turnover in the child care workforce, which can reduce capacity and quality for Nebraska’s child care providers. The study will include data on the current landscape, efforts being undertaken in other states on the issue and what might be done in Nebraska.