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The vision of Nebraska First Five is that all Nebraska children begin kindergarten with the experience they need to become successful students and productive citizens. Working with state partners in the legislature and government agencies, they seek to create effective early childhood policies that promote accountable early childhood investments with impactful outcomes that eliminate the achievement gap for Nebraska’s youngest learners.

State Allies:

First Five Nebraska • Lincoln, NE
Top Priorities for 2021

Assemble a Governance and Finance Task Force and eliminate categorical barriers that prevent offering full-day, year-round, high-quality early care and education for children 0-5 and their families, regardless of the setting.

Maintain the early childhood budget lines in next year’s state budget cycle by educating and working with our partners in state government.

Increase the number of participants in Step Up to Quality (SUTQ), the state’s quality rating improvement system, by reauthorizing the School Readiness Tax Credit and by working with the Department of Education to implement administrative changes that will help more providers more easily move up in SUTQ.

Increase the number of child care providers in areas with limited child care options by introducing legislation to develop the Intergenerational Care Facility Incentive Cash Fund. This legislation will provide start-up grants to nursing facilities that decide to build or partner with a child care program.

Build more early childhood advocates by building upon Nebraska’s public/private partnership tradition and engaging the business and economic development communities.

Nebraska’s 2020 Early Childhood Policy Landscape and Progress:

Estimated FY20 State General Fund Expenditures

Unicameral Legislature (Party N/A), Governor (R)

77,205 Young Children (0-8) are Below 200% FPL

In 2020, Nebraska senators introduced 10 new early childhood bills. First Five Nebraska lobbied in support of these bills and worked with members to pass four new bills and one carryover bill from last session. Despite concerns about the budget, no cuts were made to the early childhood budget lines.

*Early childhood policy progress in a state is the result of numerous efforts — by those listed on this page and many others — who worked both independently and collaboratively to achieve wins for young children.

More from Nebraska:

Download the full 50-State report.

The Alliance for Early Success 2020 50-State Progress Report on Early Childhood Policy expands state data (disaggregating low-income young children by race) and provides high-level state policy trend analysis for the nation as a whole. Click the icon to download the report.

State Budget Data: National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO), “Table 4: Fiscal 2020 State General Fund, Estimated (Millions); The Fiscal Survey of the States.” Spring, 2020

Low-Income Data (including disaggregation by race): National Center for Children in Poverty, “NCCP Analysis of ACS 1-year Estimates—Public Use Microdata Sample, 2019.”

State Action Data: Provided by state advocates, October-November 2020, with analysis and synthesis by Frontera Strategy for Alliance for Early Success, “Protecting Progress and Investing in Scale: The 2020 50-State Progress Report on Early Childhood Education Policy.”

Additional State Actions: Mincic, Melissa,  Early Care and Education, State Budget Actions, Fiscal Year 2020. National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), October 2020. 


The Alliance for Early Success is achieving large-scale, long-lasting change for the state’s young children by providing our allies with powerful advantages that help them shape Nebraska early childhood state policy.

Strategic, Outcomes-Focused Investments

Consulting and Strategy

Technical Support from National Expertise

Rapid Response Support

Connections/Access to Allies in Similar States

Roles in National Communities of Practice