Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird and Lincoln Littles today launched ChildcareLNK, an effort to connect parents and caregivers with available licensed childcare throughout the city. The catalog of the more than 700 current childcare openings is available on the free MyLNK app (search for ChildcareLNK) and on the city's COVID-19 website, covid19.lincoln.ne.gov.
"The pandemic has shifted and changed the childcare landscape in our community," said Mayor Gaylor Baird. "Some providers have closed, and older family members are isolating and unavailable to help. At the same time, school closures and teleworking have created openings at other childcare providers. For parents in essential jobs who suddenly need quality care, ChildcareLNK will connect them with licensed providers who have openings."
Lincoln Littles evolved from Prosper Lincoln's community agenda in 2019 to elevate early childhood by increasing capacity, quality, and sustainability. ChildcareLNK was developed by Lincoln Littles, the University of Nebraska's Public Policy Center, the City of Lincoln, and the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department.
"With ChildcareLNK, we are helping providers, parents, and the local businesses and organizations who need their employees to be working," said Anne Brandt, Executive Director of Lincoln Littles. "This vital tool was missing in our community prior to the pandemic, but the current crisis has clarified that need."
In addition to the list of licensed providers and their contact information, ChildcareLNK includes information on the age of children eligible for the program, quality ratings, hours of operation, and availability for weekend or overnight care. Childcare providers who want to participate can contact Suzanne Schneider at SSchneider@nebraskachildren.org.