Policy Strategies & Innovations Link copied!
|Innovation Name||Innovation Type||Innovation Subtype||Features at a Glance||Strategy Summary|
|Nebraska Education Innovation Fund||Dedicated Funding Streams||Lottery Revenue||
44% of revenue from lottery ticket sales are used to support education, including early childhood education
Since 1993, Nebraska has allocated a portion of lottery ticket sales to the Education Innovation Fund, which is used to support grants from early childhood through adult education. As of July 2016, this funding allocation for education was just over 44% of the state’s lottery ticket sales.Learn More: Nebraska Early Childhood Education State Report
Nebraska Lottery. (2023). Proceeds Transferred Since 1993.
|Child Care WAGE$ Nebraska||Workforce||Bonuses and Supplemental Pay Professional Learning||
$300 to $3,500 per educator per year, with an average supplement of $2,134
Child Care WAGE$ Nebraska provides supplemental pay to early childhood educators based on their education level and commitment to their early education program. WAGE$ is designed to retain and support the professional development of early education professionals; in turn, this creates a more stable workforce with the skills needed to support young children's healthy learning and development. Bonuses range from $300 to $3,500 per educator per year, with an average annual payment of $2,134. Amounts increase as educators obtain more formal education, and educators must remain in their early education program for at least six months to qualify for an award. In FY22, Child Care WAGE$ Nebraska provided supplements to 35 family child care educators; turnover among recipients was only 3%, much lower than the estimated 26-40% turnover rate among educators in licensed child care programs nationwide.
This program is part of the national Child Care WAGE$ project and is currently available in select counties across the state.Learn More: Child Care WAGE$ Nebraska
Nebraska AEYC. (n.d.). Child Care WAGE$ Nebraska.
Nebraska AEYC. (n.d.). Child Care WAGE$ Nebraska: FY22 Results
Demographics Link copied!
1,967,923 Source U.S. Census, 2022
27.0% Source U.S. Census, 2020
73.0% Source U.S. Census, 2020
Number of children age 0-4
125,790 Source KIDS COUNT, 2021
Poverty levels – children 0-8 below 200% poverty
34% Source KIDS COUNT, 2021
Median family income among households with children
$91,000.00 Source KIDS COUNT, 2021
2.6% Source U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, December 2022
Unemployment rate of parents
2% Source KIDS COUNT, 2021
Children under age 6 with all available parents in the labor force
72% Source KIDS COUNT, 2021
Children living in households with a high housing cost burden
22% Source KIDS COUNT, 2021
Child population by race and ethnicity Source KIDS COUNT, 2021
Race and Ethnicity
- American Indian and Alaska Native (1%)
- Asian (3%)
- Black or African American (6%)
- Hispanic or Latino (19%)
- Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander (0.49%)
- Two or More Races (4%)
- White, not Hispanic or Latino (67%)
Political Landscape Link copied!
Note: The Nebraska Legislature is unicameral, meaning that it’s not separated into two houses. The legislators are called senators. The Legislature is officially nonpartisan and doesn’t recognize the senators’ party affiliations. In practice, however, a large majority of senators are Republicans.
Early Childhood Education Programs Link copied!
Percent of 3-Year-Old Children Enrolled in Public Early Childhood Education Programs Source: NIEER 2021
- 3-year-old children enrolled in state-funded public pre-K (16%)
- 3-year-old children enrolled in Head Start (3%)
- Other/none (81%)
Percent of 4-Year-Old Children Enrolled in Public Early Childhood Education Programs Source: NIEER 2021
- 4-year-old children enrolled in state-funded public pre-K (33%)
- 4-year-old children enrolled in Head Start (3%)
- Other/none (64%)
Workforce Link copied!
2017–2019 Median Hourly Wages Soruce CSCCE 2018, 2020
- Child care workers
- Preschool teachers
- Preschool or child care center directors
Funding Sources Link copied!
Federal and State Early Childhood Education Funding (in millions) Source First Five Years Fund, 2022
- Head Start and Early Head Start Funding ($64.6)
- CCDBG & Mandatory Funds ($55.0)
- CCDBG State Match ($6.5)
- CCDBG COVID Relief Allocations – CARES, CRRSE, ARPA (CCDF & Stabilization) ($312.1)
- State-Funded Pre-K ($28.7)
- MIECHV ($1.3)
- IDEA Part C ($4.3)
- IDEA Part B, Sec 619 ($3.6)
- TANF Early Learning and Care Expenditures ($18.4)
- Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five ($11.6)
The COVID Funding Cliff
All federal COVID relief allocations, including funding authorized by the CARES, CRRSE, and ARPA bills, must be fully spent by September 2024. An analysis from the Century Foundation shows this loss of funds could cause more than 3 million children to lose access to child care nationwide – including more than 38,000 children in Nebraska.