Friday, January 27, 2023


A critical number of rural IA nursing homes close; TX lawmakers consider measures to restrict, and expand voting in 2023 Session; and CT groups, and unions call for public-health reforms.


Attorney General announces enforcement actions on ransomware, Democrats discuss border policies, and the FDA is relaxing rules for gay and bisexual men to donate blood.


"Brain Gain?" Research shows rural population is actually growing, especially in recreational areas; other small towns are having success offering relocation incentives like free building lots, cash, complimentary dinners and even internet credits; and researchers say the key is flexibility and creativity.

$66 Million Grant Aims to Reward Nebraska Childcare Workers


Monday, November 28, 2022   

As a way to reward those who have stayed in the child care field, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services is offering $66 million in stipends and loan repayment grants to workers with at least six continuous months at a licensed child care facility in the state.

The state is using federal coronavirus funds for the grants.

In a survey of 750 Nebraska child care employers this year, 90% said they've had trouble finding and keeping workers. The average hourly wage in child care is $12.31 an hour, and many positions are part-time with no benefits.

Ashley Palumbo, a child care worker in Omaha, said although the state has not announced the grant amounts, it is a step in the right direction.

"I mean just the appreciation out the door that's something they are considering to help us financially, especially lately, means a lot," Palumbo explained. "I live paycheck to paycheck, so any sort of help definitely helps me and my kids out."

Applications will be accepted from Dec. 5 to Jan. 11.

In the same survey, 70% of child care employers also said some of their workers are leaving the field entirely. Palumbo noted she has no plans to change fields, although some find her choice hard to understand.

"Most of my interactions with people in my close life just don't seem to get why I stay in a profession that doesn't help out as much as easier areas can," Palumbo acknowledged.

Heather Schmidt, a home child care center owner-operator in Broken Bow, hopes both she and her employee will be awarded a stipend. Schmidt added she also plans to apply for the loan repayment grant.

"We're some of the lowest-paid workers in the state and the nation," Schmidt stressed. "Which they're always advocating for us to increase our education, but then it's really hard to pay back those loans."

Full- and part-time licensed child care employees can apply, from teachers to kitchen staff. Those who have earned higher degrees will be eligible for higher awards.

get more stories like this via email
New data show in California, 2021-22 state testing scores are even lower than the state's historically low testing scores. (Rawpixel/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Many of California's 13.5 million children and teens have not bounced back after the pandemic, especially children of color, according to the just-…

Social Issues

Americans continue to report low trust in mainstream media, with many younger than 30 saying they trust information from social media nearly as much …

Social Issues

A Minnesota House committee heard testimony Thursday about the governor's proposed spending plan for education. As these talks unfold, public polling …

From February 2020 to November 2021, the number of workers in nursing homes and other care facilities dropped by 410,000 nationally, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

Health-care professionals say low pay and a worker shortage have led a dramatic number of nursing homes in rural Iowa to close their doors. They hope …

Health and Wellness

Health-care professionals and advocates in Connecticut have said it will take sweeping reforms to bolster the state's flailing public health system…

In a national survey, Michigan was ranked 27th among the 50 states for its cost, access and quality of long-term care supports and services. California was ranked first. (Flickr)

Social Issues

In her fifth State of the State address this week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer emphasized policies designed to put more money in Michiganders' pockets…

Social Issues

By nearly every measure, voter fraud in U.S. elections is rare, but that isn't stopping the Texas Legislature from considering dozens of bills this …

Social Issues

A Republican-sponsored bill in the Arkansas Legislature would make it illegal to circulate petitions at or near polling places during elections…


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021