Each year about 43,000 Nebraska children in low-income, working families receive subsidized child care through the child care subsidy program. While that program succeeds in providing needed access to child care, we can make it better.
First, we need to make sure more of our children have access to quality child care. Nebraska ranks last nationally in terms of child care subsidy eligibility. Our child care subsidy eligibility levels are not at a realistic level for low-income families, who spend more of their income on child care than higher-income families.
Second, we can take additional steps to increase the quality of care for children to make sure they do not fall behind in their development. When children do fall behind, Nebraska pays twice – once for the child care subsidy, and again to provide remedial services when these children enter school struggling to keep pace with their peers.
LB 507 with amendment 1173 addressed both of these issues. It increases access to the program by making a modest adjustment to the eligibility level, allowing more families to ensure their children’s’ safety. And it creates a quality rating system that tells parents what services child care providers are giving, as well as helping providers to increase their quality of care through assistance and incentives.
Please call your senator and ask them to support LB 507 with AM 1173.
Accessible and high-quality child care makes families more secure and helps Nebraska kids start out on the right track in their education. Take action today and urge your senator to support LB 507.