Blog Archives

When Playgrounds are off Limits, Early Care Providers Get Creative: Krystal Holmes Reveals Educational Activities for Toddlers During COVID-19

Read more about Falls City, NE childcare provider, Krystal Holmes, who became creative in engaging her toddlers. From creating mini-storm clouds to turning a toy exercise into a real-live bug-hunt, Krystal shares both the difficulties that have affected her childcare and the learning experiences she has created as a result.

COVID-19. A few months before it was a name that occasionally echoed throughout media outlets, a virus from far, far away, a distant worry that was initially, amid all of hustle and bustle of everyday life, easy to brush aside.  

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Posted in Early Childhood, News and Events

Childcare Provider Spotlight: Roxann Bihlmaier, Director of Kinder Haus Child Center, Talks about COVID-19’s Impact

Roxann Bihlmaier, the Director of Kinder Haus Child Center in Eustis, shares how the pandemic has impacted her program.

Although many professions, from retail to bartending to hospitality, have felt COVID-19’s impact, there is one, essential part of our workforce whose efforts occasionally remain unsung: our early care and education providers.

We realize, who better then, to speak to the struggles and hopes childcare providers face than a provider herself? Today, Roxann Bihlmaier, the Director of Kinder Haus Child Center in Eustis, Nebraska, is that person. Although every childcare provider’s story is unique, their hardships, hopes, and fears are all very real. Let us allow Roxann to tell us her story.

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Posted in Early Childhood, News and Events

Promising News for Early Childhood Care and Education: Nebraska’s PDG B-5 Renewal Grant Chosen for 8.9-Million Dollar Award

The National Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families has informed Nebraska’s Department of Health and Human Services (NDHHS) of a three-year, PDG B-5 renewal grant. Nebraska will receive $8.9 million for each of the next three years with contributing partners pledging $2.7 million in matched funds. Read more in our latest blog.

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Posted in Early Childhood, News and Events

Opening up During COVID-19: Carly Garner, A Childcare Provider, Shares Her Experience

Early care providers and educators realize that whereas they are performing an essential act, they are also assuming a highly empathetic one. Many early childhood programs and providers have worked with their families and children for years. Early care educators and providers not only make up an important part of our economy; they have also become an honorary member of their attendees’ families. Meanwhile, questions abound: if they close will they ever reopen? What will their families, whom they have grown to care for as much as their children, do if they close their doors? How do they best serve their families, selves, and children? For Carly, she deliberates these questions along with the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic.

Early care providers and educators realize that whereas they are performing an essential act, they are also assuming a highly empathetic one. Many early childhood programs and providers have worked with their families and children for years. Early care educators and providers not only make up an important part of our economy; they have also become an honorary member of their attendees’ families.

Meanwhile, questions abound: if they close will they ever reopen? What will their families, whom they have grown to care for as much as their children, do if they close their doors? How do they best serve their families, selves, and children? For Carly Garner, she deliberates these questions along with the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic.

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Posted in Early Childhood, News and Events

Nebraska Reopens…Along with Early Care and Education Programs: Chantel Tonkinson Shares Her New Beginning

Children at Chantel Tonkinson's early care facility, Ladybug Crossing, create Easter projects.

Our early care providers are strategizing, struggling, and helping – even amid this potentially fatal illness. We are glad to hear and share their stories. It is undeniable that early care workers have been duly impacted by COVID-19. It is, however, equally undeniable that this demographic has proven itself to be hard-working, resilient, and resourceful.

As we spoke with Chantel Tonkinson, the director of Ladybug Crossing Early Learning Program in North Platte, Nebraska, our vision of a brighter future and eventual new beginning sharpened into focus. She is reopening Ladybug Crossing on May 11!

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Posted in Early Childhood, News and Events

No Picnic: Saffron Buettner Reveals her Community’s Strategy to Deliver 175-Gallons of Milk and 175 Loaves of Bread to 70 Providers in Two Weeks

When early care providers experienced a bread and milk shortage, how did Saffron Buettner (pictured right) and her fellow community members help? Find out.  

When early care providers experienced a bread and milk shortage, how did Saffron Buettner (pictured above) and her fellow community members help? Find out.  

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Posted in Early Childhood, News and Events

Early Childhood Providers and COVID-19: The Nebraska Child Care Provider Relief Fund Delivers Source of Support

Thanks to the Buffett Early Childhood Fund, we and Nebraska Early Childhood Collaborative created the Nebraska Child Care Provider Relief Fund. This fund provides Nebraska-based licensed childcare programs and providers with a one-time $1,000 award. These funds are designed to recognize the importance of childcare facilities during this crisis. To date, we’ve received a staggeringly high number of over 1,000 applications. 

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Posted in Early Childhood, News and Events
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