The McCook Community 4 Kids Team, led by Early Childhood Community Coordinator, Milva McGhee, celebrated and recognized McCook childcare providers as local heroes on Friday, June 18th. During the global pandemic that shut down most businesses worldwide, McCook in-home and center providers kept their doors open to help other essential workers of the McCook community to continue to work and know that their infants and toddlers were safely cared for by dedicated people. “We appreciated the extra cleaning supplies given to us in order to support our doors re-opening and staying open during the pandemic,” shared Amanda Mullen of Bee Little Childcare Center.
While a small handful had to close their doors for a short period due to positive COVID-19 cases, all were diligent in taking the extra steps to make sure that they served the parents who relied on them. Many providers had extra expenses in increasing the frequency of cleanings and to create new separate spaces for prevention. “These small business owners reacted and pivoted to serve the McCook community in a high-quality manner. These providers proved how essential they continue to be for all of us,” shared Milva McGhee the Early Childhood Community Coordinator.
Even during the pandemic, some McCook childcare providers enrolled and achieved Step Up to Quality level one with the state of Nebraska. Step Up to Quality is a program through the Nebraska Department of Education that provides access to coaching and resources to help providers on their path to higher quality. Step Up to Quality programs go beyond what is required because they strive to do better for their children’s and families’ future.
Early childcare and education are crucial to a child’s future success, with 90 percent of brain development occurring before age 5. Early learning builds the foundation for skills needed in school, work, and life. Children who receive quality early childcare and education are more likely to show improvement in reading and math, to graduate from high school, attend college, have a job, and earn higher wages. Step Up to Quality childcare providers are taking the extra step to continue to provide great environments for McCook’s future citizens, workers, and entrepreneurs. Join us in providing words of support, welcome and encouragement for these local heroes.
The McCook Community 4 Kids Team is an initiative led locally by McCook Economic Development Corporation with support provided by the Nebraska Children and Families Foundation. The local team has led the efforts to increase access and quality of early childhood education throughout the area. If interested in supporting or serving with this group, please reach out to Milva McGhee at firstname.lastname@example.org or (308) 345-1200.