EARLY CHILDHOOD — Lincoln Littles Early Childhood Education Initiative


By Jaci Foged, Extension Educator, Lancaster County & Suzanne Schneider, Early Childhood Coordinator of Collaboration and Family Engagement, Lincoln Office for Early Childhood

The cost of child care is a burden for many. Parents and caregivers are able to get some financial support from the child care subsidy program through the State of Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services or through tuition assistance from some child care providers. Often, there is still a gap between how much parents can make and still qualify for child care subsidy.

In February 2019, the Lincoln Littles fund inspired by the Prosper Lincoln initiative was established to help fill this gap and help support children in getting the best start for their future. Lincoln Community Foundation grants funds to pre-qualified early-childhood programs (homes and centers) who participate in Step Up to Quality and are at a step 2 or higher. Early-childhood programs then use these funds to provide tuition assistance for families who cannot afford some or all of the tuition. The child care providers determine how many children they will serve and what tuition assistance is needed for each child.

Interested child care providers need to meet eligibility requirements. For more information, go to https://lincolnlittles.org or contact Michelle Paulk at 402-474-2345 or michellep@lcf.org. Parents can ask their child care provider if they participate.

Lincoln Littles is an opportunity for the Lincoln community to give back to our youngest population. Children’s early experiences, their relationships with their parents, guardians and child care providers set them on their path for their future.

Wednesday, Feb. 12 is the second annual Lincoln Littles Giving Day. Donate any time at https://lincolnlittles.org.

“We are so grateful that the school granted us this scholarship opportunity because we would not be able to pay the fees. If you did not have this funding, our child would just stay at home. There would be no school for him. This is an opportunity for me to express all my gratefulness to the donors and all those who are working to offer hope to families like mine.”