Blog Archives

Ready, Set, Rosie: Lexington’s Early Learning Academy is Off to the Races Building Family-School Partnerships

“I love it because I understand that Mateo will integrate quickly and his academic level will progress much more quickly,” one Spanish-speaking parent comments on Ready Rosie’s educational videos for families.

The former retail space that houses the Early Learning Academy (ELA) in Lexington, Nebraska, may seem like an unusual setting for innovation in early childhood education, but this preschool program that serves children 3 to 5 years old houses such proactive initiatives as an early intervention program for special needs students and a migrant community classroom to serve English language learners.

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Posted in Cradle to career, Early Childhood, News and Events

TEN-MINUTE RULE: What Becky Lieswald WISHES She Could Have Known Before Applying for a Stabilization Grant

How long did it take Becky Ramm, a busy Nebraska childcare provider, to apply for the Stabilization Grant? TEN MINUTES. Yes, the process was that easy. Read more tips as Becky walks you through this simple grant application for childcare providers who were impacted by the pandemic.

How long did it take Becky Ramm, a busy Nebraska childcare provider, to apply for the Stabilization Grant?

TEN MINUTES. Yes, the process was that easy. Read more tips as Becky walks you through this simple grant application for childcare providers who were impacted by the pandemic.

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Posted in Early Childhood, News and Events

Filling the Void and Cultivating Kids: Wilcox-Hildreth’s C4K Team Draws Up Plans for a Quality Childcare Center

Popular culture is full of tales of a young person who travels from her small town to a larger urban area. But what about those who stay or return? Beyond Dorothy of The Wizard of Oz, many young families move back to small towns, places that they love, where they may be presented with unique assets and challenges, including finding childcare. Read more about the Wilcox-Hildreth area's new C4K initiative and their dreams of Cultivating Kids...and quality childcare.

Popular culture is full of tales of a young person who travels from her small town to a larger urban area. But what about those who stay or return? Beyond Dorothy of The Wizard of Oz, many young families move back to small towns, places that they love, where they may be presented with unique assets and challenges, including finding childcare. Read more about the Wilcox-Hildreth area’s new C4K initiative and their dreams of Cultivating Kids…and quality childcare.

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Posted in Early Childhood, News and Events

Coming into Full Bloom: Cherry Park Creative Corner LLC’s Director, Shannon Crosby, Shares Sixpence CCP Takeaways

Although life and the weather are ever-changing, quality childcare and education are a constant need. To do this, we need Early Childhood initiatives like Sixpence Child Care Partnerships (Sixpence CCP). Early care and education professionals have a short but crucial time to help young lives bloom. We and Sixpence CCP can help.  Read more about Shannon Crosby, the director of Cherry Park Creative Corner, LL, and her Sixpence Child Care Partnership.

Although life and the weather are ever-changing, quality childcare and education is a constant need. To do this, we need Early Childhood initiatives like Sixpence Child Care Partnerships (Sixpence CCP). Early care and education professionals have a short but crucial time to help young lives bloom. We and Sixpence CCP can help.  Read more about Shannon Crosby, the director of Cherry Park Creative Corner, LL, and her Sixpence Child Care Partnership.

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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

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
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