Lincoln Littles: Supporting the Future of Lincoln
Story by Mary Kay Roth
Early childcare providers are finding their own support thanks to the Lincoln Littles organization. They have been caring for our community’s tiniest citizens throughout the pandemic.
“Lincoln Littles is like finding sanctuary, a godsend, a one-stop shop," said Janice Anderson, Administrator for West A Street KinderCare.
Childcare providers can find a friendly smile at the new Lincoln Littles office, as well as: answers to questions, an understanding conversation, protective gear, guidance to ever-changing rules, and resources for families struggling to pay childcare costs.
“We are trying to find our way through an incredibly stressful situation,” Anderson said. “But when I call this special organization, I come away refreshed and recharged… I cannot imagine going through this pandemic without the staff at Lincoln Littles.”
Anne Brandt, Executive Director of Lincoln Littles, asserts there has never been a better time for our community to support early childhood: families, children, and providers.
“The pandemic presents challenges as the early childcare landscape shifts,” Brandt said. “Childcare providers have worked valiantly to stay afloat in these pandemic times, and it has been remarkable to watch their dedication. But we need community-wide solutions to help fulfill the mission of Lincoln Littles: Ensuring all children have access to high-quality early childhood care.”
Suzanne Schneider, Associate Director of Lincoln Littles, agreed, “The pandemic has shone a bright light on how childcare employees are essential workers. When schools closed, childcare providers did not. They stayed open. They continued to serve children.”
To continue the support for Lincoln’s tiniest citizens during such a challenging year, the Lincoln Community Foundation will host the third annual Lincoln Littles Giving Day in honor of Abe’s birthday. The giving day will raise funds for tuition assistance, allowing more children from working, lower-income families to access quality early childhood education programs. Launched in 2019 and inspired by the Prosper Lincoln agenda on Early Childhood, the day has raised $1.3 million to assist more than 300 children.
The funds raised on February 12 will be granted to pre-qualified early childhood providers who are on Step 2 or higher on Nebraska’s Step Up to Quality rating system. Donations may be made online at LincolnLittles.org through Feb. 12, or mailed to the Lincoln Community Foundation, 215 Centennial Mall South, Suite 100, Lincoln, NE 68508.
“We dream of the day that affordability is not a barrier for high-quality childcare,” said Brandt.
For more information, visit LincolnLittles.org.