Developmental Guidelines for Safely Opening Early Learning Programs
In response to a growing demand for information on how to reopen child care safely during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Buffett Institute is releasing child development guidelines created to provide assistance to early care and education programs seeking to reopen child care in Nebraska as safely as possible.
Read the guidelines in English or in Spanish
Video - How to Safely Reopen Child Care and Help Children During COVID-19
Matthew Hansen Column About Guidelines
Nebraska COVID-19 Early Care and Education Provider Survey
The Buffett Institute conducted a survey in late March to assess the impact of COVID-19 on early childhood providers in Nebraska. More than 2,100 providers responded to the survey. Findings show that child care providers are facing incredible stress linked to economic insecurity, threat of health problems, and a lack of reliable information.
Read Survey Highlights - Perspectives of Child Care Providers
Matthew Hansen Column About Providers
The Impact of COVID-19 on Early Care and Education
The Buffett Institute teamed up with the University of Nebraska Foundation to host a May 1, 2020, webinar titled "The Impact of COVID-19 on Early Care and Education." Sam Meisels, founding executive director of the Buffett Institute, and Kate Gallagher, director of research and evaluation at the Institute, share highlights from a survey of more than 2,100 Nebraska early care and education workforce members as well as implications of COVID to Nebraska’s early care and education providers, children and families, and communities. Watch the video
What Children Need During These Troubling Times
Matthew Hansen, managing editor at the Buffett Institute, talked with experts about what children need and what we as adults can offer them, even as our own lives are upended by the coronavirus crisis. Read his column
Resources for Families and Child Care Providers
Our partners at Nebraska Children and Families Foundation (NCFF) are compiling information and resources to help people during the COVID-19 crisis. There is a general information page and an additional page with specific information for child care providers. The provider page also includes information compiled by the Nebraska Business Development Center for child care business owners and employees.
General Information Page
Child Care Provider Page
Nebraska Child Care Referral Network Is a New Tool for Parents, Providers
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many essential workers are desperate to find safe places for their children. A new website, http://nechildcarereferral.org, features a searchable database of licensed child care providers to help parents find quality emergency child care. The Nebraska Child Care Referral Network is also a valuable tool for the hundreds of licensed child care professionals struggling to keep their businesses open.
Nebraska Child Care Referral Network
First Five Nebraska Blog
First Five Nebraska is a team of policy, data analysis, and communications professionals working to advance high-quality early care and learning opportunities for our youngest children. First Five’s blog provides the latest early childhood updates, which is more important than ever during the COVID-19 crisis. Visit First Five's blog
UNL Website Helps Children and Families Find Beauty in Everyday Moments
A Beautiful Day is a virtual early childhood space designed to connect with children and families in Nebraska and across the world. Our colleagues at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln created this space as a way to share ideas, to foster learning and play, and to support caregivers experiencing physical distancing. More videos are being added on a regular basis. The inspiration came from Fred Rogers who said, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” The Buffett Institute was proud to collaborate on this project with Child, Youth and Family Studies (CYAF), Ruth Staples Child Development Laboratory, the College of Education and Human Sciences (CEHS), and Nebraska Extension. Visit the website
State and Federal Policy
The Buffett Institute’s leadership team collaborated with early childhood partners First Five Nebraska, Buffett Early Childhood Fund, Nebraska Children and Families Foundation, and the Nebraska Early Childhood Collaborative on letters that were sent in March to state and federal officials.
The first letter, sent on March 20 to the CEO of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, the directors of the Nebraska Departments of Education and Labor, and the members of the Legislature, asks state officials to consider policy actions to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus on the state’s early childhood system. Read the letter
The second letter, sent on March 22 to Nebraska's congressional delegation, contained policy proposals intended to extend financial lifelines to keep child care providers viable during the pandemic. Read the letter
Learn more on First Five’s blog.
An opinion piece by Samuel Meisels, founding executive director of the Buffett Institute, on protecting children's well-being during COVID-19 ran in the Washington Post on March 24. Read the op-ed