RPN Today - S1E6 - Childcare
Finding childcare that is high in quality and low in cost is a struggle for many parents. Particularly in Nebraska. The Cornhusker State is the ninth most expensive state for childcare for married couples, and fourth most expensive for single parents. To help close this growing gap, many communities across Nebraska are getting creative in how they’re making childcare more accessible and more affordable for their residents. And Rural Prosperity Nebraska is helping.
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[00:00:00.189](mellow guitar music begins)
[00:00:15.450]Finding childcare that is both high in quality
[00:00:17.910]and low in cost is a struggle for many parents.
[00:00:21.000]The Cornhusker state is the ninth most expensive state
[00:00:23.910]for childcare for married couples
[00:00:25.920]and fourth most expensive for single parents.
[00:00:28.590]There has consistently been a gap of childcare programs
[00:00:35.430]whether it was in-home, infant, toddler care remains
[00:00:38.880]like one of the highest gaps, particularly in Nebraska.
[00:00:42.510]To help close this growing gap,
[00:00:44.100]many communities in Nebraska are getting creative
[00:00:46.620]and rural prosperity in Nebraska is helping.
[00:00:49.290]In Grand Island extension educator Linda Reddish
[00:00:52.020]helped Carime Ruvalcaba recently become the first bilingual
[00:00:55.620]daycare provider in Nebraska to receive
[00:00:58.230]the National Child Development Associate credential.
[00:01:02.130]She check everything and she help me,
[00:01:07.170]give me more information and it's a, you know, the CDA
[00:01:11.430]I need to complete a portfolio and many rules
[00:01:15.630]and I complete and she check everything is good.
[00:01:20.460]But after that she sent me more information
[00:01:25.350]and sent me more training.
[00:01:27.450]In Ord, the problem was not so much
[00:01:29.670]qualification as it was capacity,
[00:01:32.099]so they called on two university students
[00:01:34.530]from the Rural Fellows program to help.
[00:01:36.480]When the Rural Fellows came in,
[00:01:37.980]we were looking at doing a non-profit run center
[00:01:40.980]and their first really big project was doing
[00:01:43.590]a feasibility study.
[00:01:44.850]And now here we are a year and a half later
[00:01:46.950]and she has expanded her center from a capacity of 40
[00:01:51.270]to a capacity of 168.
[00:01:53.610]They actually received $400,000 in ARPA funding
[00:01:56.340]from the county.
[00:01:57.450]So, huge win.
[00:01:59.100]You know, to showcase like Valley County cares about kids
[00:02:01.440]and where we're gonna put our money where our mouth is
[00:02:03.983]In Valentine, on the banks of the Niobrara
[00:02:06.480]the Cherry County Hospital faced a different kind
[00:02:08.430]of problem when a daycare that many of their hospital
[00:02:11.220]employees had taken their children to closed down.
[00:02:13.980]So, we were able to use a lot of the work
[00:02:15.930]that the Rural Fellows did.
[00:02:18.150]So they provided us with a business plan.
[00:02:20.130]They provided us with an ROI
[00:02:23.070]so that we could take that,
[00:02:24.360]tweak it to what made sense for us.
[00:02:26.310]Seven hospital employees have contracted
[00:02:28.650]with a certified provider in Valentine to offer daycare
[00:02:31.560]to their children.
[00:02:32.880]The provider is not an employee of the hospital
[00:02:35.550]nor does she contract with a hospital itself.
[00:02:38.310]However, she reserves a opening in her daycare specifically
[00:02:41.430]for children of hospital employees.
[00:02:43.927]I feel like this model is a complete win-win
[00:02:47.040]all the way around.
[00:02:47.970]When it comes to childcare,
[00:02:49.170]there is no one size fits all model that works
[00:02:51.480]for all of rural Nebraska.
[00:02:53.610]But if Nebraska is anything, it's resilient.
[00:02:57.030]And the general consensus is that better,
[00:02:59.250]more quality driven childcare in rural communities
[00:03:01.890]makes for a better, stronger state.
[00:03:04.920]Whether it's the Cherry County, Valentine community
[00:03:08.250]or the entire state,
[00:03:10.140]solving childcare will allow the state to grow.
[00:03:16.735](mellow guitar music ends)
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