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First Five Nebraska Early Childhood Policy Associate

Nebraska Children and Families Foundation Lincoln, NE

Job Description

Early Childhood Policy Associate

Interested in building a career in an innovative, future-focused area of public policy? First Five Nebraska is seeking a self-motivated, committed professional to help shape public policies that affect children’s earliest care and learning experiences throughout the state. This policy field is increasingly recognized as critical to Nebraska’s economic growth and civic development—and it needs committed, passionate and highly engaged individuals to lead the way.

First Five Nebraska is well known and respected for its history of promoting policies to improve early care and learning opportunities for our state’s youngest children, especially those most at risk. If the prospect of working with an experienced and dynamic team on early childhood policy issues appeals to you, reach out to us by sending a resume and cover letter to Meg Buse at

JOB SUMMARY:  Co-leads First Five Nebraska’s legislative and administrative early childhood policy agenda.  All duties are carried out in a collaborative policy and communications environment with a minimum of individual supervision.   


  • Cultivate strong relationships with policymakers in the Nebraska Legislature and state agencies, particularly those offices that implement and/or administer programs and systems germane to First Five Nebraska’s policy agenda and priorities;
  • Represent First Five Nebraska in both the legislative and executive branches of state government, and with other public and private sector stakeholders;
  • Synthesize relevant legislation and research as it pertains to First Five Nebraska’s policy agenda, and regularly cooperate with the organization’s communications team to message that agenda across a variety of platforms;
  • Maintain a thorough knowledge of the Nebraska Unicameral legislative process and become familiar with the state’s political landscape, especially as it relates to child development and well-being, education and economic development issues;
  • Conceptualize and participate in developing First Five Nebraska’s strategic direction based on the state’s changing landscape;
  • Demonstrate a thorough knowledge of public administration, government operations and systems, including budgeting and revenues.  Possess or develop a substantial understanding of, and interest in early childhood policies; 
  • Monitor and document individual lobbying activity and contribute to regular organizational progress reports.


  • Ability to exercise independent judgment and take an active role in recommending approaches to early childhood policy;
  • Comfort with networking and building new relationships with contacts in state government, and other public and private organizations;
  • Strong written and oral communication skills with ability to draft content for issue briefs, legislative testimony, talking points;
  • Ability to articulate complex ideas clearly and effectively;
  • Working knowledge of early childhood development and education, state government programs, systems building, and legislative processes;
  • Working knowledge of Nebraska’s political context and the ability to promote First Five Nebraska’s agenda in a non-partisan manner;
  • Ability to advance strategic vision for First Five Nebraska’s long-term policy agenda;
  • Ability to define problems and draw valid conclusions;
  • Ability to interpret a variety of instructions and manage multiple activities at once;
  • Ability to read, analyze, and interpret state legislation statutes, professional journals, research and evaluation, state budgets, and government regulations pertaining to early childhood issues;
  • Genuine interest in advancing public policy and improving the educational, social and economic outlook for our state and its citizens.


  • Bachelor’s degree in social work, early childhood education, public policy or a related field; and
  • Five or more years of experience in public policy, government or related field preferred


While performing the duties of this job, you will be regularly required to attend and contribute to meetings (often requiring sitting, standing, walking, and analyzing information in team settings).  The employee will sometimes need to travel to locations within and outside of the state.  Some travel will include overnight stays.


This is a full-time position based in Lincoln, Nebraska.  During the legislative session, work hours are commonly required outside of typical business hours.


Job Details

Date Posted November 13, 2017
Date Closes December 13, 2017
Address Lincoln
Located In Lincoln, NE
Job Type Full-time Employee
Hours 40 hours per week
Start Date 2017-01-11
Positions Available 2
SOC Category 21-1099.00 Community and Social Service Specialists, All Other
Zipcode 68508
Name Meg Buse
Address 301 South 13th Street, Suite #600
City, State and Zip Lincoln, NE 68508
Phone (402)261-9671
FAX (402)261-9673

This job offers the following benefits

  • 403(b) Retirement Savings Plan
  • Flexible Spending Accounts
  • Accidental Death and Dismemberment
  • Dental
  • Dependent Life Insurance
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
  • Life Insurance
  • Long-Term Disability
  • Medical
  • Short-Term Disability
  • Vision
  • Voluntary Life Insurance
  • Paid Holidays
  • Paid Vacations
At a Glance
Enjoy these benefits
  • 403(b) Retirement Savings Plan
  • Flexible Spending Accounts
  • Accidental Death and Dismemberment
  • Dental
  • Dependent Life Insurance
  • And More ...