Step Up To Quality Stories

Expanding Childrens’ Palates and Worldviews Through Food

Mealtime is an opportunity to provide babies, toddlers and young children with a wide range of experiences that involve their five senses. Incorporating activities around food — and the various cultures from which dishes originate — can help children expand their worldviews and develop stronger brain pathways.

Exploring cultures through...Read More › - Expanding Childrens’ Palates and Worldviews Through Food


Step 5 Spotlight: Jennifer Baumann Talks Unstructured Play and Going Viral on TikTok  

We recently chatted with Jennifer Baumann, a Step 5 provider and TikTok extraordinaire, to learn more about her Step Up to Quality journey and how she uses social media to connect with other parents and providers.

How did you decide you wanted to be a child...Read More › - Step 5 Spotlight: Jennifer Baumann Talks Unstructured Play and Going Viral on TikTok  


The Importance of Coaching in Early Childhood Education

We know how important high-quality early childhood education is, but how can we continue to boost this quality? An important component is coaching. If you’ve ever been in a classroom full of energetic children, you know another expert perspective can be very helpful. Coaching is professional development that emphasizes the application...Read More › - The Importance of Coaching in Early Childhood Education

Spend Quality Time with Us

We’re thrilled to announce the launch of our podcast, Quality Time! We decided to create a podcast for many reasons. We noticed there aren’t a lot of podcasts directed to early childhood education providers. And none targeted specifically for providers in Nebraska. We’ve also seen podcasts grow in popularity, so we...Read More › - Spend Quality Time with Us

Learn How Step 2 Updates are Supporting Providers

Whether you’re already enrolled in Step Up to Quality or are considering enrolling, we’ve got some exciting news regarding our latest program updates: we’re reducing the training requirements for Step 2, beginning in October 2022. If you’ve already completed Step 2, wonderful! All of the training that we offer...Read More › - Learn How Step 2 Updates are Supporting Providers

How Reading to Children Improves Kindergarten Readiness

If you’re an early childhood professional, reading to children is probably already on your agenda. For some children, your classroom may be the only place they get this experience. According to a 2019 study in the United States, nationally representative data suggests that around 25% of caregivers...Read More › - How Reading to Children Improves Kindergarten Readiness

Step Up to Quality Celebrates 8 Years

Step Up to Quality is now eight years old! We celebrated our anniversary in July and recently released our annual report. The best news is that we are continuing to grow. We’re nearly at the 700-participating-providers mark! Which leads us to our most meaningful statistic: nearly 38,000 children have been educated and...Read More › - Step Up to Quality Celebrates 8 Years

Earlier Coaching Now Available for Nebraska Early Childhood Education Providers

High-quality early child care and education is crucial to a child’s future success, and we know that supporting the professionals who shape these children is just as important. Now, Step Up to Quality is offering more coaching and peer support for providers at an earlier stage in our program.

What...Read More › - Earlier Coaching Now Available for Nebraska Early Childhood Education Providers


How to Help Children Stay Present with Mindfulness Activities

Take a deep breath in, hold for three seconds, and let it out. Simple activities like these can help you become more aware of the present. Mindfulness allows you to tune in to what’s happening now, whether that’s the different smells or noises you hear around you. Being mindful is...Read More › - How to Help Children Stay Present with Mindfulness Activities

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

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