Kostelnik, Meisels co-chair statewide workforce commission

Marjorie Kostelnik and Samuel J. Meisels are co-chairs of the Nebraska Early Childhood Workforce Commission.

Kostelnik, Meisels co-chair statewide workforce commission

15 Feb 2017    

College of Education and Human Sciences (CEHS) Dean Marjorie Kostelnik is co-chairing a new statewide commission formed to tackle one of the most complex and pressing challenges facing Nebraska today—expanding and strengthening the state’s early childhood workforce to meet children’s needs throughout the first eight years of life.

Photo of Beth Doll
Beth Doll
Photo of Linda Boeckner
Linda Boeckner

The Nebraska Early Childhood Workforce Commission includes 39 public- and private-sector leaders brought together by the Buffett Early Childhood Institute (BECI) at the University of Nebraska. The group is charged with developing a statewide plan to ensure a skilled, informed, and diverse workforce is available to all children. Other CEHS representatives on the commission are Beth Doll, associate dean for academic affairs and professor of Educational Psychology, and Linda Boeckner, professor of Nutrition and Health Sciences and program leader at Nebraska Extension.

“We are committed to serving Nebraska, and what we hear from business and community leaders is that early childhood is an urgent need,” said Kostelnik, who joins Samuel J. Meisels, founding executive director of BECI, as co-chairs. “Now is the time to bring people together to take action and make a difference for children, families and early childhood professionals.”

Although the commission was formed last year, it will hold its first official working session on Wednesday, Feb. 15, in Lincoln. The meeting marks the beginning of a three-year collaboration believed to be among the most comprehensive efforts in the nation to focus on those who care for, nurture and educate young children. Nearly 80 percent of children from birth through age 5 in Nebraska are enrolled in some form of paid child care.

The commission will meet quarterly over a three-year period (2017 ⎼ 2019). Members will work with local leaders to develop targeted implementation plans that address the systems that govern early childhood, including higher education, practitioner needs and state policy. The commission’s top three concerns are workforce shortage, training requirements and compensation. For more information and a complete list of members, visit http://go.unl.edu/nawp.

College of Education and Human Sciences