Step Up To Quality Stories

A Solution for the Quality Gap in Public Early Childhood Education Programs

More and more school districts are extending their educational offerings to include pre-kindergarten and pre-school programs, and it’s no wonder – they can provide significant benefits to the schools, the parents and the children. For schools, getting kids used to being in a classroom environment helps them seamlessly transition to kindergarten....Read More ›

How I Quickly Found a Part-Time, Education-Focused, Affordable Preschool for My Son

For the first two and a half years of our son Atticus’ life, we were fortunate enough to have family members close by for babysitting. From nearly day one of his life at home with his father and I, my mom (our son’s Nana) was there to help. I was home...Read More ›

Educate, Motivate, Activate: Coaches Help Guide Child Care Providers Through 5-Step Process

Coaches are universally valuable people to have in your corner – they help unlock potential, they help you learn new skills, and they can encourage you to accomplish goals you never before thought possible. For those child care directors or owners who are going through the Step Up to Quality...Read More ›

The Clear Connection Between Child Development & Economic Development

When The Valley Child Development Center opened in January 2018, it was the culmination of years of work residents of the town had poured into their dream. Their dream wasn’t and isn’t just about a quality child care center in their town, though. It’s about making Red Cloud a...Read More ›

Prioritizing Quality Early Childhood Education

When Adam Feser promotes policies affecting early childhood in Nebraska, he can reference countless research studies, stacks of data analysis and endless quotes from experts. But maybe the most meaningful example of the power of quality early childhood education is his own family. Adam works as a policy associate for First...Read More ›

Teaching the Teachers

After Suzanne Schneider's first son started attending child care, it dawned on her that she might like working there. She had a degree in education, and, it turned out, an undiscovered passion for teaching little ones. She quickly became the center's director. "Early childhood education is so important, and I have...Read More ›

It’s OK to be a Child Care Snob

Jen Nelson has a message for parents looking for child care: it’s OK to be a snob. It’s OK to expect more out of your current provider, too. As the sole proprietor of Nurture and Nature Family Child Care, Step Up to Quality’s first rated child care provider, and the first...Read More ›

All Kids Deserve Quality Child Care

I’m a mom of two biological kids, but in my heart, I feel like I have hundreds. Fellow child care teachers and facility owners can back me up. It’s not just a job to us. I would do anything for these kiddos, just like I would my own. My center, Bright Beginnings,...Read More ›

The Busy First-Time Mom’s Guide to Finding Quality Child Care in Nebraska

When I found out I was going to have a child, I immediately began creating “to do” lists in my head around the kind of pregnancy experience I wanted to have: researching midwives and pediatricians, interviewing friends who were already parents, attending pre-natal yoga classes, and staying on top of...Read More ›