I am here today in strong support of LB 160, and want to express my gratitude to Senator Quick on behalf of Holland Children’s Movement for its introduction, and to the members of the Urban Affairs Committee for its consideration.
The idea for this bill grew from what we already know works well in Nebraska…local control and creating new pathways to increase opportunities for investments to support Nebraska’s children and families. This bill achieves that, by providing more opportunities for access to quality early childhood education, and without cost to the state. And that is no easy task, to be sure!
As local communities tackle the ever-present goal to attract and retain new talent, we are realizing more often, that in order to grow the workforce, young families need better access to childcare. Without question, the demand for access to safe, affordable, and quality childcare is real and present. And, our ability to meet this demand is crucial to a growing workforce and economy in Nebraska.
Recent research on public opinion in Nebraska, by the Holland Children’s Institute shows 83% of Nebraskans believe the state should place more focus on expanding access to affordable, quality childcare to grow the economy and workforce in Nebraska. LB 160 is an opportunity to do so, and ensure access to quality childhood education is a priority in our state.
LB160 allows local communities the option to invest LB840 funds in quality early childhood care and education programs, recognizing the early childhood industry as the economic driver that it is, and the potential it brings for communities across our state. Unlike many other industries, childcare businesses are local, they employ Nebraskans, they serve Nebraska children and families, and help Nebraska parents enter and succeed in the work force–all of which fuels more activity for local economies.
LB 160 is an innovative state policy solution that works to meet an identified need at the local level. Senators, I hope you will take this opportunity to support Nebraska’s children and families, because it will also help our local economies and work force. There is no downside to this proposed legislation.
Director of Strategic Engagement