Child Care WAGE$® NEBRASKA is a program that provides education-based salary supplements (sometimes called stipends) to low-paid early care and education providers working with children ages birth-five in licensed family child care settings in Nebraska. This program is designed to increase retention, education, and compensation of the early childhood workforce.
Child Care WAGE$®...
- Requires consistency within the same child care program. Participants are only awarded supplements after completing a six-month commitment period in their program. This provides continuity of care for individual children and increases retention for the program as a whole.
- Provides direct, graduated wage supplements that are logical and sufficient. Supplements are issued directly to the participant and do not impact program budgets or parent fees. This allows families to access high quality care (more educated teachers and lower turnover) at no additional cost. The graduated scale also allows participants to increase their supplement amount by increasing their education. The supplements are designed to make an income difference to the individual and reflect logical steps in the higher education system.
- Maintains marketplace competition for better salaries.
An individual’s income does not affect their supplement level, only their initial eligibility. Supplements are based on education level, so programs still have incentive to provide fair hourly rates to attract qualified staff to their programs.
- Encourages continued education. Research shows that teachers with higher levels of formal education provide higher quality care and create better outcomes for young children. As participants increase their education, they can earn higher awards through WAGE$®. Many award levels are temporary, meaning the participant must increase their education within two years to continue receiving supplements. T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® NEBRASKA provides scholarships to assist individuals in continuing to work toward a credential or degree.
- Focuses on outcomes. WAGE$® focuses on the outcomes of increased retention, compensation, and education for the early care and education workforce. As a nationally licensed program by Child Care Services Association, North Carolina, WAGE$® NEBRASKA is monitored regularly to maintain accountability and focus on outcomes.
Funding for Child Care WAGE$® NEBRASKA is provided by the Nebraska Department of Education
Child Care WAGE$® is a licensed program of Child Care Services Association.