Preschool Development Grant

Quality in Early Childhood Care and Education

Nebraska’s PDG grant will advance data systems to inform policy and practice around early childhood, improve program delivery and minimize duplication of services. Other efforts will focus on supporting Nebraska’s child care home providers as a crucially important component of the state’s early childhood workforce. Lastly, the grant will enable state agencies to revise the rating criteria for Step Up to Quality and investigate ways to better support child care providers participating in the system.

Specific Activities and Organizational Leads

  1. Community Assessment Tool (CAT) Development:
    Stakeholder expertise will be utilized to learn how to better share data across systems to provide information for the public and other stakeholders about existing programs and services across school districts, child welfare agencies, and community programs. Stakeholder insights will help identify data needed from birth to kindergarten. This data will be incorporated into a Community Assessment Tool for use in planning and targeting service delivery improvements across communities.
    Organizational Lead: Nebraska Department of Education – Early Childhood Data Coalition (ECDC)
  2. Family Childcare Landscape Study:
    A study to review financial stability, quality, provider characteristic, professional development opportunities, and other essential questions derived from the Needs Assessment and Strategic Plan. The study will focus on hearing directly from family child care providers about their experiences and preferences to help them improve quality, including accreditation and facilities. The study will include quantitative data from the Needs Assessment and Qualitative information from focus groups with four types of Family Childcare Home settings.
    Organizational Lead: UNMC – Munroe Meier Institute
  3. Step Up to Quality Revisions:
    Information from the Needs Assessment will be used to revise Step Up To Quality (SUTQ) criteria as appropriate, and the review will include a focus on whether any changes to SUTQ would align more tightly with the goals of the strategic plan, and support providers to engage more effectively with families to encourage their engagement in child development. Proposed revisions will take into account fairness between family child-care and center-based providers.
    Organizational Lead: Nebraska Department of Education – Office of Early Childhood

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