Child Care Shortage in Rural Nebraska

This week, I am excited to share with you significant developments in the continued efforts to improve childcare access across Nebraska, especially in rural communities. LB 1416, which adopts the Child Care Capacity Building and Workforce Act and the Family Child Care Home Grant Program, is a critical step toward addressing the need for accessible childcare across the entire state.

Introduced by Senator Bostar, and at the request of Governor Pillen, LB 1416 looks to strengthen childcare infrastructure through two key initiatives. The Childcare Capacity Building and Workforce Act grant program is designed to provide much-needed support to childcare providers, ensuring that families across the state have access to quality childcare. By prioritizing grant recipients based on criteria such as increasing childcare capacity for younger children, supporting the childcare workforce, and addressing specific county needs, LB1416 ensures targeted and impactful investments by addressing the most pressing needs of Nebraska families. Whereas the Family Child Care Home Grant Program focuses on tailored solutions for rural communities, recognizing the needs of all communities, especially those in a “child care desert.” This program encourages the establishment and use of “micro-centers” without over-regulations, thereby offering a flexible response to the differing demands for childcare.

I support LB 1416 as is a well-crafted bill that should be part of a comprehensive solution to the childcare challenges facing Nebraska. This bill takes significant strides toward working to resolve the childcare shortage in rural Nebraska. It also acknowledges the diverse needs for childcare found throughout our state. This bill seeks to ensure that every child has and will have access to quality care, thereby fostering a stronger future for Nebraska’s rural communities and families.

As always, I welcome your input on issues important to you. Follow along on my Facebook and Twitter pages, both entitled “Senator Julie Slama” for more updates, or contact me directly at Senator Julie Slama, District 1 State Capitol, PO Box 94604, Lincoln NE 68509-4604; telephone: 402-471-2733; email: jslama@leg.ne.gov.

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