Young families, economic developers see early childhood education benefits

Attracting young families to Nebraska’s rural communities can be challenging in many ways.
Finding a good job and affordable housing are among those challenges.
Finding quality child care and early childhood education can be another.
Nebraska ranks as one of the top five states where all single or two-parent families are in the workforce. That means child care is among the top needs.
Eighty-four percent of counties in Nebraska with child care facilities do not have enough available slots to meet the current demand.
At the same time, some 62 percent of mothers with infants are in the labor force in Nebraska, and in-home child care providers are getting older. A recent estimate pegged the average age of in-home providers across the state at 55 years old.
“This is a statewide issue,” said Lindsey Jarecki, who is spearheading the Boone Beginnings Early Childhood and Family Development Center in Albion. She attended the statewide Thriving Children, Families, and Communities Conference on Sept. 16, along with other Boone County residents Angie Herman, Kendra Krohn, State Sen. Tom Briese and Jay Wolf.

Read the full story in the Oct 9 Albion News print and e edition.