Breakout Session Closing Video - Why Support Childcare when Revitalizing a Community?
Let’s imagine a community is in the process of revitalizing, and the goal is to create a community where people want to live, work, and play. The town has identified building an early childhood program as one step towards meeting that goal but there is some reluctancy if this is a good idea.
From your perspective and role, how would you address those concerns or support for an early childhood investment?
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[00:00:18.880]I mean, I think the first part is
[00:00:20.370]to have an understanding of what those concerns are, right?
[00:00:24.700]So really using that community-based participatory approach.
[00:00:29.240]It really has to be taking the, like I said,
[00:00:32.400]a community approach means that it's cross-sector.
[00:00:34.880]It means that there's a multi-level approach
[00:00:36.900]in understanding what those concerns are.
[00:00:40.420]Is the concern with sustainability?
[00:00:42.220]Is it with initial funding?
[00:00:45.114]I think understanding those pieces first
[00:00:47.820]is really important.
[00:00:49.140]So really taking it down to what is the community need?
[00:00:52.770]What are their unique concerns
[00:00:54.640]and what could be the affordances
[00:00:56.260]of having childcare within
[00:00:57.880]that community is the first step.
[00:01:00.670]Secondly, we know that the need
[00:01:03.510]for high quality childcare,
[00:01:05.790]childcare that supports the child's voice and choice,
[00:01:09.180]that supports their positive identity and development,
[00:01:11.760]and then supporting the childcare center, the staff,
[00:01:15.230]you know, whoever it might be, it might be family home,
[00:01:17.550]whoever's providing the care also providing support to them.
[00:01:20.990]And how are we going to do that effectively,
[00:01:22.830]support their wellbeing?
[00:01:25.040]Equipping them with the skills
[00:01:26.750]to provide that quality childcare is also really important.
[00:01:31.080]So the first step though,
[00:01:33.210]is understanding from the community need,
[00:01:35.660]how will this childcare, whatever it might look like,
[00:01:39.040]meet or address those concerns?
[00:01:41.270]And then how can it be supported in such a way
[00:01:44.260]that it's meeting the unique community needs,
[00:01:48.750]if that makes sense?
[00:01:50.830]And then understanding
[00:01:51.850]that quality childcare can be immensely helpful
[00:01:56.440]for supporting children and families
[00:01:58.740]in terms of children's learning and development.
[00:02:01.930]It can also be hugely helpful
[00:02:03.640]to families who want or need to work.
[00:02:08.270]We know that in Nebraska, in particular,
[00:02:10.930]that there's a high percentage of two-working families
[00:02:15.700]and so childcare and making sure
[00:02:17.650]we have high quality childcare is so important,
[00:02:21.680]so that we can really support our families
[00:02:24.270]to work and to thrive,
[00:02:25.790]and also for children to develop and thrive.
[00:02:28.890]It's just like when I was teaching on my reservation.
[00:02:32.930]They wouldn't call me Mr. Hibbeler.
[00:02:34.760]A lot of my students called me Uncle.
[00:02:38.760]You know, so that relationship status,
[00:02:45.370]that relationship building is cultural, okay.
[00:02:50.490]And so you can't separate that
[00:02:53.040]when you're talking about childcare.
[00:02:55.550]So that culture of nurturing and love
[00:03:00.100]is built within childcare automatically
[00:03:04.590]because of the extended family traditionally,
[00:03:07.180]but now even though they may not be related
[00:03:11.610]to one another, within tribal community communities
[00:03:14.480]they still are and have those relationships of a family.
[00:03:22.100]And so I think cultural vitality,
[00:03:27.170]if you're looking at bringing
[00:03:28.520]that in through the childcare lens,
[00:03:31.950]that needs to, you know,
[00:03:35.430]whatever the community is,
[00:03:36.797]and I know a lot of communities
[00:03:38.470]within an urban area are mixed like Omaha,
[00:03:41.730]but that sense of relationship,
[00:03:44.070]being a good relative needs
[00:03:46.000]to be established first and foremost.
[00:03:48.340]If it's not, you're not gonna have the trust.
[00:03:52.290]You're not going to have the, you know,
[00:03:56.420]the community's full buy-in of taking care
[00:04:01.320]of their little ones in a love and nurturing environment.
[00:04:06.040]One thing is that people has opportunity
[00:04:08.710]to do, think about where they're going
[00:04:11.720]to leave the kids for work.
[00:04:13.610]You know, we have people, they need to work.
[00:04:15.840]So the main concern about families
[00:04:18.580]is where I going to leave my kids.
[00:04:20.300]So we need a safe place to leave them
[00:04:25.002]so I can extend my work.
[00:04:28.240]So we need people,
[00:04:31.760]to keep employees in the community,
[00:04:34.370]we need to offer services in childcare
[00:04:36.820]to be safe and to stay in the town they in.
[00:04:42.720]Another thing is, if we have the childcare is, you know,
[00:04:47.970]we're talking about one person
[00:04:49.480]and this person is going to have a job too.
[00:04:52.800]So we have parents that working
[00:04:54.690]and leave the kids with the childcare,
[00:04:56.483]and we're going to have one women
[00:04:57.660]or two take care of our kids.
[00:04:59.952]So she's an employee or employer
[00:05:01.960]And she's gonna pay taxes too.
[00:05:04.050]So we need both families.
[00:05:05.360]and that needed the connection
[00:05:06.760]to offer services in the community
[00:05:08.885]that is needed at any moment.
[00:05:10.390]Well, and there are always precious few resources,
[00:05:13.090]and we have to think about where do we want to invest them?
[00:05:15.980]One of the things we learned in healthcare is that we tend
[00:05:18.730]to invest them at the end of life
[00:05:20.950]when people have had a crisis.
[00:05:23.740]And in fact, although that is absolutely important,
[00:05:28.230]it is the least efficient way
[00:05:30.250]to manage the health of a neighborhood
[00:05:32.040]or a whole population.
[00:05:33.950]What we need to be doing is instead investing upstream
[00:05:37.310]and all the way upstream as far as we can.
[00:05:40.240]Maternal health is worth its weight in gold
[00:05:43.240]because if you can support moms who might be a high risk,
[00:05:46.920]who might not have gotten a maternal health care
[00:05:49.740]during their pregnancy,
[00:05:51.280]and then help them to have a safe
[00:05:53.690]and a supported delivery of their child,
[00:05:56.150]and they're able to take care them
[00:05:57.910]that creates such a positive home environment.
[00:06:01.540]And the alternative just puts so much risk
[00:06:04.600]for both the mom and the family and the kid.
[00:06:08.270]So I would say that really just hearing
[00:06:11.310]from some parents who have been through it,
[00:06:14.290]and maybe some of the kids that have grown up
[00:06:16.165]with that lived experience has always been powerful.
[00:06:20.350]Right now, we're doing some work in juvenile justice,
[00:06:23.690]and so we see kids who have fallen off
[00:06:26.320]of the train, right, and really had been,
[00:06:29.530]oftentimes they've been expelled or suspended.
[00:06:33.170]They might have parents who are incarcerated
[00:06:35.420]or they're in the foster care system,
[00:06:37.280]they've run away.
[00:06:39.100]The question is talk to them.
[00:06:41.510]You know, if you are in doubt,
[00:06:43.020]talk to them and ask them, where did it all start?
[00:06:45.130]You know, where were the missed opportunities?
[00:06:47.660]And rather than hearing from experts,
[00:06:49.360]I would talk to people
[00:06:50.310]people that have been through lived experience
[00:06:53.180]and can see and share what's happened.
[00:06:54.580]And there are some outstanding advocates in our communities
[00:06:57.340]who have been through the foster care system
[00:06:59.930]that have survived the experience
[00:07:02.240]of being in the juvenile justice system.
[00:07:05.350]And they can tell you that if we could put things
[00:07:08.060]in place early on to address hunger, transportation,
[00:07:11.400]quality of education in schools,
[00:07:14.120]access to just a sense
[00:07:16.476]of what I call psychological safety
[00:07:18.100]at home and in the neighborhood,
[00:07:20.250]that would be just a far better investment
[00:07:24.100]for our state and our community,
[00:07:26.000]if we're looking at whole health and wellbeing,
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