As Nebraska opened the third Educare facility in the state, it is worth addressing the idea of access and quality child care for families. Currently the program has two facilities in Omaha- Kellom serves 183 children and families Indian Hill serves 191 children and families. The new site located in Lincoln opened yesterday, and is set up to serve 191 children and families.
The idea behind Educare is to serve low-income and at-risk children and families with quality child care. This addresses both concerns of quality and access child care for low-income, working families.
The Nebraska Legislature will explore the idea of quality child care (LB507) later this month. There are also bills intended to address access and affordability of child care for low-income families (LB625, LB359, & LB220).
At Voices for Children, we believe that both quality and access are necessary to raise a healthy child and help them be prepared to be learn in school. It’s not a matter of access over quality or quality over access — both issues should go hand and hand. Having quality child care doesn’t help a child if his family can’t afford to send him there. Having access to child care without quality educational programming doesn’t help get him ready for school.
With so many bills related to early childhood education this session, now is the time to address child care in a comprehensive way.