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Report: Parts of Nebraska lack access to child care services

January 30, 2020 GMT

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Families who want access to high-quality child care in Nebraska may be out of luck depending on where they live or how much they make, according to a report released Thursday.

The report by the Nebraska Early Childhood Workforce Commission said access to child care varies widely, with 11 of the state’s 93 counties having no licensed child care facilities.

The report also found a high turnover rate among early childhood care providers, driven in part by low pay. The median wage for early childhood professionals teaching in community-based child care centers was $18,706 in 2016, according to the report. That’s nearly $1,400 below the federal poverty line for a family of three.

“Many communities do not have the resources to provide families with a variety of early care and education options — particularly high-quality options,” the report. said. “Even when high-quality options are available, many families do not have the financial resources they need to pay for the quality of care they want for their child.”

The commission is a part of the Buffett Early Childhood Institute at the University of Nebraska.