Blog Archives

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

Coming Clean: During COVID-19, Community Members Help Early Care Providers Find Disinfectant

Join Julie Nash of Hall County Community Collaborative as she comes clean on her hunt for a provider's much-needed disinfectant.

Despite COVID-19, many families need to work, and their children need quality care. Without childcare, there can be no essential workers. Without these essential early care workers, there can be no thriving community.

Julie Nash wholeheartedly recognizes this connection. She and her organization serve on a committee that works with children ages birth through 11 and their providers. Through the professional grapevine, Julie caught wind from Shonna Werth, Assistant Vice President of Early Childhood Programs, that a provider in St. Paul, Nebraska needed disinfectant. In fact, if this provider couldn’t find some sanitizer soon, she would have to close her doors.

Learn more about Julie’s hunt for disinfectant.

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Posted in Early Childhood, News and Events

COVID-19’s Effect on Early Care and Afterschool Programs: Providers Adapt, Grapple, and Make the Most Out of Difficult Times

The children at Cherry Creative Corner are creating and playing while Shannon and her staff find ways to adapt to new circumstances.

This spring, COVID-19 is a name and number with which you’re probably well-acquainted. You’re more than likely aware of many other numbers, too. From the number of infected individuals in your area to the number of businesses closed to the number of layoffs, we can recite these statistics by heart.

Here at Nebraska Children and Families Foundation, as an organization that seeks to grow the good life for all our children, we empathize with those who are witnessing, dealing, and adjusting to these uncertain times.

In addition to members of the service industry and retail being impacted, there is one occasionally overlooked, equally affected demographic whose voice we aim to capture: our early care providers.

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Posted in Early Childhood, News and Events

Early Childcare Faced with Pandemic: Heather Schmidt Shares Her Experience, Humor, and Difficulties in the Face of COVID-19 

Early Care in Crisis: An Interview with Nebraska Providers

Heather Schmidt of Broken Bow, Nebraska is the owner of Love & Learn Childcare. She is also a student, part-time Administrative Assistant at Mid-Plains Community College’s Broken Bow Campus, and one of many early care providers staring in the uncertain face of COVID-19.  

Nebraska Children and Families Foundation was glad to speak with Heather and gather her experiences considering these unprecedented events. Our hearts go out to those who are affected by the coronavirus.

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Posted in Early Childhood, News and Events

Early Childhood Care and Education in Crisis: How Providers and Educators are Grappling and Adapting in the Face of COVID-19

This blog features an interview with Linda Horner, and describes the struggles of early childhood educators in light of COVID-19.

From creating interactive Facebook platforms for e-learning to navigating uncertain enrollment, early childhood providers’ COVID-19-related struggles and successes are very real, particularly those of Linda Horner. Read about Linda’s experience.

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Posted in Early Childhood, News and Events

Early Childhood Rooted in Relationships’ Communities Support Childcare Facilities During COVID-19 Crisis

The Rooted in Relationships initiative have been rallying together to serve child care centers and family home providers during COVID-19.

All across the state, communities participating in the Rooted in Relationships initiative have been rallying together to serve child care centers and family home providers during COVID-19.

Read more about their latest efforts.

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Posted in Early Childhood, News and Events
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