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National EITC Awareness Day

Tax season is upon us, which means that many families across Nebraska are beginning what is often a tedious process of filing their tax returns. Although the process can be complicated, tax returns can provide a significant boost to financial stability for many families. The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which is a federal tax [...]

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An Important Step Forward on Affordable Child Care

Child care is the largest expense in the budget for families with young children.  In 2012, full time care in a child care center for an infant in Nebraska cost an average of $ 7,747 per year.  The child care subsidy program helps low-income working parents afford child care and helps ensure that children are [...]

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On the Outskirts of Hope, 50 Years Later

“Unfortunately, many Americans live on the outskirts of hope – some because of their poverty, and some because of their color, and all too many because of both. Our task is to help replace their despair with opportunity.  It will not be a short or easy struggle, no single weapon or strategy will suffice, but we shall [...]

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College Savings Issue Brief

College Savings Issue Brief

  Postsecondary education and training is now more important than ever for individual success and societal progress. Investments in higher education provide significant returns in employment levels, financial earnings, tax revenues, health, upward mobility, and overall well-being. Current projections indicate that demand for educated workers in Nebraska is projected to outpace current rates of educational [...]

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In Most States, Child Care Still Costs More than College

Last week, Child Care Aware released their annual report on the cost of child care in the United States.  The cost of child care continues to be high with the average annual cost exceeding that of a year in-state college tuition at a public university.  In Nebraska, annual care for an infant in a center [...]

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The First 8 Years Policy Report

Yesterday, the Annie E. Casey Foundation released a new policy report “The First Eight Years: giving kids a foundation for lifetime success.” This report highlights the importance of investing in young children during crucial brain development stages to set them up for success later in life. It has been shown that every dollar invested in [...]

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Hearing Looks at Nebraska Spending on Low-Income Families

On Friday, the Health and Human Services Committee held a hearing to look at how Nebraska is spending funds under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF, program. TANF is a federal block grant program to provide short-term help to families in need.  The four federally-established goals of TANF are: Assisting needy families so [...]

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SNAP Benefits to be Cut November 1st

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP or food stamps, serves as an important buffer against the increasing prevalence of child hunger.  Under the SNAP program, funds are provided to purchase food and the benefit amount is determined by a number of variables including income, family size and other expenses. Nebraska families participating [...]

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Children and the Government Shutdown: Spotlight on WIC

The federal government shutdown is now entering the second week.  While furloughed workers and the larger economy continue to feel the immediate impact,  Nebraskans wait to see when and if the shutdown will impact programs for lower income children. In particular, the Women Infants and Children (WIC) Program is at risk if the shutdown continues. [...]

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Child poverty down, but racial disparities persist

Last week data-nerds all over the country (including those here at Voices for Children), had a field day as the U.S. Census Bureau released their 2012 (1-year) estimates of poverty from the American Community Survey (ACS). Overall, the child poverty rate in Nebraska decreased slightly – from 18.1% in 2011 down to 17.9% in 2012. A [...]

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