Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Is the PDG primarily on a state level to conduct needs assessments and come up with a strategic plan?
A. Yes! The PDG is a Statewide grant, but is intended to reach people at many levels of involvement. Participation is sought from parents and families, Early Childhood Educators and Service Providers as well as State level leaders in both public and private settings. Two activities that are the major focus and must be completed are a Statewide Needs Assessment and Strategic Plan. There are other activities also included in the scope of the grant that will inform and enhance the Assessment and Planning processes.
Q. Is the PDG primarily on a state level?
A. Yes! There are many activities associated with the grant that provide opportunities for involvement. In first six months, a major focus is the expansion of the preliminary Strategic Plan to include implementation activities. Input is needed from a broad cross-section of participants to assure the success and sustainability of the efforts. To learn more see PDG Overview.
Q. Is the PDG potentially available for communities to apply for funding?
A. A PDG Renewal Grant has been awarded to Nebraska from March 1, 2020 through February 28, 2021, with potential additional awards for years two and three. One of the activities included in the grant scope will support locally designed efforts to improve family experiences. Called the Communities for Kids Plus (C4K+) project, Nebraska will increase the number of communities with high-functioning and sustainable family support and early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) backbones and services. To do this, community subgrants will be distributed by the Nebraska Children and Families Foundation (NCFF) with a priority given to those communities and or consortium of communities that are focused on serving children with the greatest needs.
Q. How does the PDG Planning Grant differ from the PDG Renewal Grant?
A. The initial PDG Planning Grant (2019-2020) funded a collaborative effort to assess the needs of the early childhood care and education systems in Nebraska and to create a strategic plan designed to improve access to quality childcare, to build collaborative enterprises between local communities and early childcare services, and to implement aligned statewide systems to support communities.
The PDG Renewal Grant provides funding from 2020-2023 to implement the strategic plan, based on findings of the needs assessment, by investing in community-level infrastructure so as to provide resources, services, and information to families; to strengthen the early childhood workforce by providing professional development and incentives to stay and grow in the field; to continue the work of integrating the state system; to better inform the public on the importance of early childhood education and its related issues; and to evaluate grant-funded programs so as to continue to improve quality of early childhood education and services.
Q. What are the main goals of the PDG Renewal Grant?
A. The main goals of the PDG Renewal Grant are as follows:
- Provide up-to-date information on the status of young children in Nebraska that can be used to inform decision-making at the state, community, and program levels, with an emphasis on improving capacity in rural communities;
- Create stronger community-level infrastructure for helping families learn about available early childhood programming, and for connecting families to the services they need;
- Expand efforts to engage with families, obtain information about their needs, inform them about chiId development, and connect them to beneficial services for their young children;
- Strengthen the early childhood workforce through a coherent set of professional development (PD) initiatives and by providing meaningful incentives to stay and grow in the field;
- Improve services for infants and toddlers for their first five years, and strengthen the transition into kindergarten;
- Build a stronger, more integrated state system with updated governance and finance policies that support community-level leadership;
- Inform the Nebraska public about the importance of child development, the impact of the grant, and the state’s investment in early childhood;
- Evaluate results that inform continuous quality improvement.
Q. What is the organizational structure to deliver the grant?
A. The National Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Administration for Children and Families has awarded Nebraska’s DHHS the PDG Renewal Grant, with two major sub-awards given to the Nebraska Department of Education and Nebraska Children and Families Foundation. A collaborative of early childhood care and education programs and services within the state works closely with local communities to assess needs related to early childhood development, to develop a plan for addressing critical needs, and to disperse funding that best supports the institutions that meet those needs and the families seeking quality childcare services.
Q. Who benefits from the grant?
A. Nebraska families in need of quality early childhood care and education and the providers who seek to build quality care services by working with the network of support services and resources available in the state are the primary beneficiaries.
Specifically, prioritizing serving communities whose children have the greatest needs, certain locales have been chosen to receive subgrants that will increase the number of high-functioning and sustainable family support and early childhood care and education infrastructures and services. Communities receive funds and ongoing technical assistance through a Nebraska Children and Families Foundation initiative called Communities for Kids that helps support a dedicated local “central coordination staff” to develop collaborative infrastructures for the community.
On a larger scale, all of Nebraska benefits. Building a system of quality care not only supports the small businesses that feed Nebraska’s economy, but also provides jobs in the state, and gives families the option of entering the workforce with the certainty that their children are receiving quality care. Without such care, the state loses millions of dollars annually.
First Five Nebraska recently commissioned a report whose findings revealed that Nebraska families lost $489 million dollars a year in household income due to missed work and that businesses lost another $234 million because of lower productivity and employee turnover. An additional $21 million is lost annually in decreased tax revenues.
Q. What organizations are involved?
A. A coordinated web of organizations and programs operating at both the state and local levels work closely with local community representatives to implement the PDG Renewal Grant. The downloadable document below shows the partners, projects, and their leads who are involved with the preschool development grant.
Q. What if I have questions about the Strategic Plan?
A. Many of your questions concerning Nebraska's Strategic Plan can be answered by consulting this extensive Q and A resource.
Thank you for your interest in early child care and Nebraska's Preschool Development Grant. Please submit any questions you have about this work below.