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March 29, 2024


Get Your 2023 Kids Count in Nebraska Reports!

We had a great turnout this week at events in Lincoln and Omaha to release the 2023 Kids Count in Nebraska Report. 

The commentary section in this year’s report underscores the challenges families face in accessing quality and affordable childcare across the state.

The report highlights the increasing difficulty for Nebraska families in accessing licensed childcare, with a notable 17% decline in the number of licensed childcare facilities statewide from 2020 to 2022.

Moreover, the capacity of licensed childcare facilities to accommodate children under the age of 6 across Nebraska's 93 counties reveals concerning gaps. Nine counties – Arthur, Banner, Blaine, Hayes, Keya Paha, Logan, McPherson, Sioux, and Thomas – lacked any licensed childcare facilities as of 2022.

Additionally, 23 counties failed to meet at least 50% of the county's childcare needs and 6% of Nebraska families with children ages birth to five experienced job disruptions in 2020–21 due to childcare challenges.

Even when childcare is available, the financial burden strains family budgets. In 2021, the median cost of center-based childcare for one infant in Nebraska amounted to $11,068, consuming 10% of the average married couple's income and 33% of a single mother's income in the state.

“A growing portion of money earned by families at work is going toward childcare expenses,” said Josh Shirk, research coordinator at Voices for Children in Nebraska. “And yet, paradoxically, despite the high cost of childcare, the many dedicated childcare workers are not paid well and are struggling to stay on the job, jeopardizing both the accessibility and quality of care children receive.”

The commentary makes policy recommendations to ease the cost burden for families while promoting greater accessibility and quality care, including expanding access to the childcare subsidy, enhancing tax credits for working families with young children in care, and targeting investments in quality granting and educator incentives.

KIDS COUNT is a national and state-by-state effort sponsored by the Annie E. Casey Foundation to track the status of children in the United States utilizing the best available data. Key indicators measure the education, social, economic, and physical well-being of children.

The Kids Count in Nebraska Report, produced annually, provides pertinent information on the well-being of children in areas of health, education, economic stability, child welfare and juvenile justice.

"One of our values is information: we strongly believe that you need reliable data to know where you are, so you know where you need to go," said Juliet Summers, Executive Director of Voices for Children. "We are proud to be able to offer this free resource to individuals, communities, and policymakers alike so they can make decisions in the best interests of Nebraska children - and to have done so for over three decades now."

If you'd like a hard copy of this year's report, please contact Josh, and he will get one to you! You can also access a pdf of the report on the front page of our website.


From the Policy Desk...

This Week at the Legislature

It was a quiet week at the Nebraska legislature concerning bills championed by Voices for Children. We should have some updates on pending legislation next week.  


Federal Child Tax Credit Support Remains Strong

There is still ongoing bipartisan support for the expansion of the federal Child Tax Credit, but it is currently sitting in the United States Senate as debates ensue around the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act of 2024.

If passed, hundreds of thousands of families with working parents and/or caregivers would benefit from an expanded CTC. Around 16 million children in low-income families would benefit in the first year. When the expansion is fully in effect, it is estimated to move 500,000 or more children out of poverty. 

Increasing the family bottom line expands opportunities for children, improving the child’s well-being, school performance, health, and future opportunities. We encourage you to contact your U.S. Senator today and express your support for this important piece of the Act! 


REMEMBER -- You can watch daily legislative debate hereand you can find the agenda for any legislative day here. The agenda changes daily and shows the bills that will be debated that day.  


Last Weekend to Enjoy a March Pour and Benefit Voices for Children in Nebraska

Order the Leicht Speed -- March's Giving Tap -- at Site-1 Brewing THIS WEEKEND and GIVE BACK to Voices for Children!

Each month, Site-1 chooses a local nonprofit as a way to give back to the community. All month, Site-1 will give back $1 dollar from each Giving Tap order back to Voices for Children.

Described as "crisp, clean, brite, and crushable," Leicht Speed is a German-style lager that features Hallertu Blanc hops for a grapey, champagne-like finish. It's delicious!

So DRINK UP (responsibly) and GIVE BACK (often) to raise money to help Voices for Children continue its mission to make Nebraska a great place to be a kid!

Be sure to order the Leicht Speed Tap! Other pours do not benefit Voices for Children. Thank You!


Check out media coverage of our 2023 Kids Count in Nebraska Report (so far)!

New Kids Count report focuses on child care ‘crisis’ in Nebraska


  Thank You for Making a Difference in the Lives of Nebraska's Kids!

The work we do every day on behalf of families and children COULD NOT HAPPEN without the support and participation we receive from YOU. Your generosity allows us to remain an independent voice for Nebraska's kids. 

Get in Touch: voices@voicesforchildren.com | (402) 597-3100

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