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Some Nebraska caregivers and teachers face low wages, no insurance and not enough training

November 16, 2017
Ashia Aubrey

KEARNEY, Neb. — The life of an early childhood care provider in Nebraska is not always easy according to a study done by theBuffett Early Childhood Institute.

The Nebraska Early Childhood Workforce Survey shares some of the challenges teachers and caregivers face.

The survey points out how things like stress, lack of insurance, training and even not making enough money is hitting these caregivers hard, which is also putting a strain on the way kids are learning.

Lori Ziems, who cares for children in her home, is one person who is facing these challenges.

“You have to focus on their needs, not mine,” said Ziems.

She said her job is not always easy.

“Being an in-home provider, I don’t have an employer so health insurance is an issue. My husband is also self-employed,” Ziems said.

Money is an issue as well for some providers.

The survey states that 80 percent of home-based providers work more than 40 hours a week, and earn half as much as pre-K and K-3 teachers.

“Am I going to get paid today? Is this family going to pay me? Do they understand that this is how I make my living?” Ziems said.