The Skills Problem

Nobel prize-winning economist James Heckman's presentation to the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry on why public and private investments in children's earliest skill formation are they key to our state's -- and nation's -- social and economic growth.

Annually, Nebraska spends about $94
million on subsidized child care for our
state's most vulnerable children.
Shouldn't we expect quality and
accountability from the services
our public dollars purchase?

Read our eye-opening issue brief on child care in Nebraska.

"The most expensive thing in early childhood is [a] poor quality [program] with no return on investment."

Jack P. Shonkoff, M.D.,  Director - Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University [Presentations to Nebraska legislators, business leaders, and school administrators - January 15, 2013]

"Many of us in law enforcement believe it is much easier to teach a child than turn around a broken adult."


Lincoln law enforcement officials' visit to Cedars Northbridge Early Childhood Center spotlights role of early education in reducing crime.

"New industries consider locating in states who show a commitment to children in their early years.  They understand it's an indicator of stability in a community and a quality workforce."


Barry Kennedy
Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry

"If a child starts Kindergarten behind, they will most likely stay behind for the rest of the time they're in school.  Nationally, almost 50% of kindergarteners start school behind."

Sharon Royers
Principal, Indian Hill Elementary

The First Five Years are a Critical Moment in Brain Development

Neuroscientific evidence indicates that a child’s experiences, environments and relationships in the first five years have a profound impact on the development of healthy brain architecture.

Investing in Nebraska’s Youngest Citizens Pays Dividends

We can grow Nebraska’s economy, strengthen our workforce and offset the rising costs of school failure, dropouts, criminal justice and public assistance by investing in our state’s youngest citizens.

Step Up to Quality Request for Proposals Now Available for Download

The RFP for Step Up to Quality has been released and is now available for download.  Follow the link below for more details.  Proposals are due November 24, 2014.