Blog Archives

CARES Act Allocates Funds to Childcare and Educational Initiatives

Early this week, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced that $20M in federal dollars will go toward restoring our state’s childcare foundation in addition to other educational resources for children. Following passage of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) earlier in March, this funding became available with a $3.5B appropriation to the Child Care Development Fund (CCDF). Read more about how these funds will be approximately allocated.

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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

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

Old Space, New Digs: Communities for Kids North Platte Team Forges Connections, Maximizes Space, and Creates a New Childcare Facility

What began as a chat at Thriving Children turned into a proposal for the Board of Education. The proposition requested that North Platte Public Schools would partner with Ladybug Crossing Early Learning Center to provide childcare.

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Posted in Early Childhood, News and Events
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