Our Children are Listening

A message from our COO, John Cavanaugh:  

The tragedy and outrage of the white supremacy riots in Virginia over the weekend require every American to stand up and proclaim their opposition to the assertion of blatant race based hatred being proclaimed as a valid part of American heritage. 

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Paid Leave: The Devil is in the Details

By Sarah Ann Kotchian 

Ivanka Trump met in recent weeks with Congressional leaders including Senator Deb Fischer to talk about family work support programs. These programs are important for Nebraska families and they continue to gain strong support across the political spectrum, but we must look beyond the headlines to drill down on the details of what lies beneath the surface of talking points and one-liners. 

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2017 Legislative Scorecard

Our annual Legislative Scorecard highlights significant bills and establishes a record of how children and families faired during the most recent session.

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Quality Ratings for Nebraska Child Care Programs Go Live!

by Sarah Ann Kotchian, Vice President of Education and Early Childhood Policy

Building access to high-quality early childhood care and education is a goal shared by advocates, lawmakers and business sectors alike. Research continues to affirm that closing the achievement gap and building and future workforce starts in early childhood. In recent years, Nebraska has taken great strides in creating Step Up to Quality and the School Readiness Tax Credits.  

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Federal Cuts to Medicaid Carry High Cost to Nebraska

A message from our COO, John Cavanaugh: 

It is time for a true bi-partisan effort to establish American healthcare for all. The failure of the Republican rushed and secret effort in the U.S. Senate may provide the catalyst for a new approach. 

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2017 Legislative Session: Budget Cuts, Bright Spots, and Looking Forward

From our COO, John Cavanaugh:

Nebraska children and families were major targets for budget cuts in this session of the Nebraska Legislature. In nearly every category of program assistance for children and families, steep reductions were proposed as the method to not only reduce spending to meet declining revenue, but also to provide major reductions in State government support to reduce tax revenue in the future, primarily benefitting the wealthiest Nebraskans. The largest reductions were to programs essential for a healthy Nebraska. Significant reductions were made in Medicaid, Behavioral Health AID and Children's Health Insurance (CHIP). Reductions in provider rates will further force reductions in access to care to many of those most in need. 

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The Importance & Possibility of Paid Family Leave in Nebraska

Sarah Ann Kotchian, our Vice President of Education and Early Childhood Policy, spoke about paid family leave at "Parenting Matters: A National Symposium". Hundreds attended the event hosted by Buffett Early Childhood Institute  in collaboration with the American Educational Research Association and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

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Tax Package Presents Looming Economic Disaster for Nebraska Communities

Lawmakers are considering an overhaul of Nebraska's tax structure at a time when revenues are falling short, the state is dipping into the rainy day fund, and the Governor is pushing to freeze child care subsidy rates, withholding approximately $7.4 million from the program that serves low-income working families. 

LB 461 would cut taxes for the wealthy while doing little for average Nebraskans. 

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Concern Rises Over Potential Freeze to Child Care Subsidy Rates

An update from John Cavanaugh, our COO:

The Lincoln Journal Star is to be commended for recognizing, in an April 11, 2017 Editorial, Freezing care rates a mistake, that LB 335 is a misguided budget measure proposed by Governor Ricketts. Not only will it be more difficult to replace the funds withheld from childcare providers serving the children of working poor families in future years, but the damage done to the quality of care provided these children will be immediate and long lasting.

The parents of children served by childcare providers receiving subsidy dollars are the poorest of the working poor. They are often single parents working for minimum wage jobs and earning less than $25,000 a year. The current subsidy payments are already far below the market rate for childcare, leaving programs that accept the subsidy struggling to provide high quality care with properly compensated and educated staff. 

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Title XX Funding in Jeopardy for Child Care and Education Providers

This week, our COO, John Cavanaugh submitted a timely oped to the Lincoln Journal Star about decisions being made in the Nebraska Legislature that could impact early childhood care and education:

Local View: Cutting Child Care Brings High Cost

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