Step Up To Quality Stories

A New Emphasis on Quality Child Care

With many parents working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, and with many child care providers temporarily closing or reducing the number of children they care for during that time, we are seeing a new level of appreciation for high quality care.

Grateful Parents

Parents have always appreciated their child care providers...Read More › - A New Emphasis on Quality Child Care

5 Tips on How to Find High Quality Child Care From a Distance

A common piece of advice when parents are searching for child care is to “trust your gut” when meeting with the director or owner, and touring the facility. But what can parents rely on when they can’t tour a facility in person? The COVID-19 pandemic is changing the way a lot of...Read More › - 5 Tips on How to Find High Quality Child Care From a Distance

What is it Like to Go Through the Step Up to Quality Process?

When you ask people for advice, the most valuable insights often come from peers who are in the same situation as you. Sometimes that extra empathy and a “I really get it” mentality helps to provide additional clarity and wisdom. Others who might not have walked in those shoes don’t have...Read More › - What is it Like to Go Through the Step Up to Quality Process?

Gratitude Ideas for Provider Appreciation Day

It takes a village to raise a child: parents, families, teachers and child care providers all contribute to shaping the next generation. With more than 75 percent of both parents in Nebraska homes working outside the home, children sometimes spend more of their waking hours with child care providers and...Read More › - Gratitude Ideas for Provider Appreciation Day

Why is Play Important for Kids?

Kids naturally love to play, and parents often love to join in on the fun, too. But is there more to play than what meets the eye?

Awesome Adventures

Jene and her husband love to take their toddler on little adventures and they love to spend time with him and play. But like...Read More › - Why is Play Important for Kids?

We Want to See Those First Steps!

That first step. It’s a milestone moment. It signifies a whole new chapter, a new way of living. It’s hard to overstate what a big deal it is — you may not even realize it in the moment. We could be talking about any first step — the first training run for...Read More › - We Want to See Those First Steps!

The Power of Play

There are some misconceptions about play distracting from learning. But play is an invaluable vessel for developing social skills, cultivating creativity and applying lessons. A reputable childcare provider will have a good understanding of the importance of play.

Why is play so important?

In early childhood education settings, learning and...Read More › - The Power of Play

Why We Use the Term ‘Child Care’ and Not ‘Day Care’

For starters, if you use the term “day care,” you’re not wrong. Plenty of professional, high-quality providers still call themselves “day cares.” It’s just that there’s a better term that more accurately describes what early childhood educators do, and it’s “child care.” Simply put, these teachers are taking care of the child....Read More › - Why We Use the Term ‘Child Care’ and Not ‘Day Care’

What Does it Mean When Providers are Enrolled in Step Up to Quality?

Searching for a high quality child care provider or preschool can be daunting. But Nebraska parents have an incredible resource at their fingertips: Step Up to Quality maintains a list of providers who are enrolled in its process on its website. These providers are going above and beyond normal licensing requirements to...Read More › - What Does it Mean When Providers are Enrolled in Step Up to Quality?

Men, Be Like Mike: Become an Early Childhood Teacher

As early childhood educators know, young kids are awesome. “They’re funny, interesting, honest, innocent, and you get to watch them change right in front of your eyes,” said Mike Stiehl, a Step Up to Quality coach who has been in the profession for 40 years. So why aren’t more men like Mike...Read More › - Men, Be Like Mike: Become an Early Childhood Teacher

An Affirmation of Quality

Teaching and caring for children is in Kim Chase’s blood. Her mom was a teacher, and her aunt was an in-home child care provider. When Kim was in college, she would do her laundry at her aunt’s house, and sometimes fill in for her aunt and care for the kids. “When I...Read More › - An Affirmation of Quality

Where Are They Now? Following Up With Jill & Aiesha

When we featured Jill, the early childhood site director at Kids Can Community Center, and her Step Up to Quality coach Aiesha, they were working on reaching their next goal: a Step 5 rating. We are happy to report that they accomplished their goal! The team at Kids Can...Read More › - Where Are They Now? Following Up With Jill & Aiesha

How to Advocate for Your Child in Early Childhood Education Settings

Even though I have a college degree in early childhood education, even though I’ve worked and taught in the field for more than a decade, even though I am well-versed in the research and best practices in the classroom, my husband and I brushed off warning signs when we placed...Read More › - How to Advocate for Your Child in Early Childhood Education Settings

Reflecting on 5 Years of Step Up to Quality

High quality child care is everyone’s issue. Whether you have children or not, and whether you have children in child care or not, the state of child care resources in Nebraska should be an issue you feel strongly about:

When It Comes to Child Care, What Exactly Does Quality Mean?

For first-time parents, searching for child care can be overwhelming, confusing and exhausting. “It’s the most important decision they’ll make as new parents,” said Step Up to Quality Director Lauri Cimino. No pressure or anything. Especially if parents are not familiar with the world of early childhood education – it’s diving into a...Read More › - When It Comes to Child Care, What Exactly Does Quality Mean?

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