Early Childhood Report Release Thursday


CHADRON – Chadron State College is hosting a watch party Thursday morning from 8-10:00 in Burkhiser Complex for the release of the final report from the Nebraska Early Childhood Workforce Commission. The watch party is an opportunity to learn what the commission found and what they are recommending to meet those needs.

CSC professor and former long-time Early Childhood Development Center director Dr Kim Madsen served on the commission for a year and says the “Elevating Nebraska’s Early Childhood Workforce: Report and Recommendations” is a a comprehensive plan to ensure that a skilled, informed, and diverse workforce is available to meet the needs of all Nebraska children from birth through age 8.

The Nebraska Early Childhood Workforce Commission is a group of more than 40 public and private sector leaders convened by the Buffett Early Childhood Institute at the University of Nebraska. Madsen says the report is a testament to the dedication that many individuals and groups have for supporting the workforce for generations to come.

Madsen says the report represents “many, many years of intense gathering of evidence-based practices by individuals who care for and about investing in children and families. The information spans the entire state, representing a collaborative commitment to ensure high-quality care and education for young children is considered critical and vital to the future of our state and the nation.”

CSC Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr Jim Powell served on the commission for two years and was succeeded by Madsen. He says the commission has an important focus, ensuring Nebraska’s children have the best educational opportunities possible as well as families having excellent daycare and preschool facilities.

The commission’s report contains a wide range of findings about the state of the early childhood workforce in Nebraska, both positive and negative, with a vision that Nebraskans elevate the early childhood workforce to a priority profession benefitting all children from birth through third grade centers on four goals:

The findings include inconsistent regulations, low wages for early childhood professionals providing care and teaching near or below the poverty line, high turnover, accessibility and availability to childcare, shortage of affordable options, economic vitality of communities and employers affected by childcare needs of working parents.

The commission sets four goals: 1) Nebraska’s early childhood workforce will be highly qualified and will reflect the diversity of the children and families they serve; 2) Early care and education in Nebraska will be fully funded by 2030; 3) Nebraskans will champion high-quality early care and education and the critical role of the workforce in young children’s learning and development; and 4) Nebraskans will implement the commission’s recommendations to achieve a highly qualified and diverse workforce on behalf of all young children and their families.