Step Up To Quality Stories

Let’s Get Musical: Incorporating Music in the Classroom and Home

Whether your child will become the next Mozart or strictly stick to banging pots and pans around the house, music can be an excellent aid in their development. Music-related activities help children develop fine motor skills, improve language development, increase the neural activity within their brain, and help them to...Read More › - Let's Get Musical: Incorporating Music in the Classroom and Home

Make the Most of Water Play This Summer

Whether you’re preparing for summer activities in the classroom or in your home, children greatly benefit from the wonderful world of water play. Playing with water presents a range of opportunities for children to develop their fine and gross motor skills, to work on sharing and social skills, to...Read More › - Make the Most of Water Play This Summer

650+ Reasons to Be Thankful

We’ve declared 2022 The Year of Quality, and while we celebrate the quality child care providers enrolled in Step Up to Quality all year long, we especially want to lift them up on National Provider Appreciation Day, which happens on the Friday before Mother’s Day every year. Read More › - 650+ Reasons to Be Thankful

How to Shift Children’s Art Activities to Focus on the Process

Artistic expression is beneficial in early childhood settings, especially when it comes to unrestricted exploration. As a child care provider, you probably already have art activities in your curriculum. Or as a parent, you may have art projects that you facilitate for your child at home. But are these...Read More › - How to Shift Children’s Art Activities to Focus on the Process

Nebraska Child Care Stabilization Grant: Get Ready for Round Two

In 2021, Nebraska child care providers had the opportunity to apply for the Child Care Stabilization Grant to stabilize the child care sector and ensure families would have equal access to high quality care. Fortunately, many Step Up to Quality providers received funds to help improve the quality...Read More › - Nebraska Child Care Stabilization Grant: Get Ready for Round Two

Farm to Preschool Builds Healthy Eating Habits for Nebraska’s Children

Healthful, nutritious food is important for everyone, especially young children. Eating habits start in infancy, and by the time children enter elementary school, those habits are fairly established. So, if we want our children to have lifelong healthy eating habits, early intervention and experience with healthy eating is an important...Read More › - Farm to Preschool Builds Healthy Eating Habits for Nebraska's Children

Why You Should Pursue a Career in Early Childhood Education

The early years of a child’s life can have an incredible impact on their future. They’re not only learning colors, words, shapes and numbers — they’re learning how to interact with others, explore the world, and understand and express their own emotions. It’s a great responsibility to be an...Read More › - Why You Should Pursue a Career in Early Childhood Education

How to Strengthen Communication between Parents and Providers

Children often spend their day with teachers and child care providers just as much as their parents, which means intentional, open communication between parents and providers is an important aspect of quality care and successful outcomes. Providers are knowledgeable in early education and development, and parents are experts on their...Read More › - How to Strengthen Communication between Parents and Providers

This is Quality

Every year, and every day, is about quality at Step Up to Quality. But in 2022, we’re going to be emphasizing quality in new ways. The early childhood education field has been significantly impacted by the pandemic. However, child care providers have shown incredible resilience. People outside of the field now...Read More › - This is Quality

A Big Thank You for Early Childhood Professionals

As Nebraska’s quality rating and improvement system, Step Up to Quality has a mission to support and provide resources to those who are doing essential work in the early childhood education field. These benefits range from personal recommendations for improvement and financial incentives to something just as vital: gratitude...Read More › - A Big Thank You for Early Childhood Professionals

Tips and Tools for Teaching Children Emotional Skills

Children can experience a wide range of emotions throughout a single day, but they aren’t always able to recognize and understand emotions in themselves and others. That’s why it’s important for children to learn emotional skills in early childhood education settings. More broad emotions, like happiness and anger, are generally picked...Read More › - Tips and Tools for Teaching Children Emotional Skills

How to Advance Early Childhood Education with Local, Fresh Foods

In quality early childhood education, food is an important component—from what children consume at snack time to learning about how it’s produced. Healthy eating habits start as early as infancy. Our colleagues at the Farm to Preschool program, an initiative through the Nebraska Department of Education, work to connect early...Read More › - How to Advance Early Childhood Education with Local, Fresh Foods

A Child Care Safety Checklist for Parents and Providers

If you’re reading this, odds are you care deeply about the safety of children as they learn, play and grow. Safety is also important to us at Step Up to Quality. When it comes to creating a child-safe environment in early childhood education settings, some hazards are difficult to recognize until...Read More › - A Child Care Safety Checklist for Parents and Providers

Meet the Step Up to Quality Team: Lauri Cimino

The Step Up to Quality team is an incredible resource for child care providers going through any of the five Steps — and they can also connect providers with other early childhood education resources. As a part of the State of Nebraska Department of Education’s Office of...Read More › - Meet the Step Up to Quality Team: Lauri Cimino

The Search Engine That Could

We are thrilled to launch new features on our website — a comprehensive, seamless, user-friendly search function and insightful resources for parents looking for high quality early childhood education. This search engine is deceptively powerful. Parents can easily narrow down their child care search by inputting a few preferences and...Read More › - The Search Engine That Could

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