The Nebraska Legislature’s Appropriations committee is studying the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the early childhood workforce as well as the financing requirements needed to ensure a high-quality early childhood system in the state.
The committee’s chairman, Gering senator John Stinner introduced Legislative Resolution 390 in July to authorize the study.
During a hearing in Lincoln Tuesday morning, Stinner said childcare is foundational to everything the state depends on economically. “I think this LR (legislative resolution) predominantly rests in what impact COVID has had on childcare, but with the idea that long-term, we still have to resolve some of this (pay) gap issue we’re talking about,” said Stinner. “Trying to get this workforce paid at a sufficient level so you don’t have the turnover we’ve seen in the industry. We’ve got dollars that can flow to the providers that will sustain them over different business cycles, if you will.”
Various experts and stakeholders testified at Tuesday’s hearing, including researchers, university and government officials, business leaders, and child care providers.