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Quality early childhood care and education are vitally important to help a community thrive, according to Communities for Kids North Platte.

The group is hosting a “No Small Matter” event at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Fox Theatre. The event is centered on the showing of a documentary that highlights the impact that quality early care can have on a community.

Cama Charlet, a program specialist for Buffett Early Childhood Institute’s Workforce Planning and Development staff, will open the evening with a short presentation. She will talk about a report the Buffett Institute released Jan. 30 titled “Elevating Nebraska’s Early Childhood Workforce: Report and Recommendations of the Nebraska Early Childhood Workforce.”

The report culminates three years of research on what early childhood needs are in Nebraska. Following the report, the documentary will be shown. A panel discussion by early childhood education leaders in North Platte will take place after the film.

“‘No Small Matter’ is built from stories of real children, families and teachers, illustrating the impact of high-quality early childhood experiences,” said Communities for Kids representatives in a press release. “We meet parents who are struggling to do their best for their kids, incredible teachers who model what early childhood classrooms should and could be like, and children learning and developing in real time.”

According to the press release, the film is “firmly grounded in science, opening up the ‘black box’ of what’s happening inside children’s brains.” It includes animation and the voices of scientists, physicians and early childhood education experts.

The event is sponsored by the Community for Kids North Platte group, which includes core team members Stephaine Morse, Platte River Counseling; Ron Hanson, North Platte Public Schools superintendent; Monica Carter, Peggy Romshek and Marnia Hughes, NPPS; Raven Jack and Miranda Muirhead, North Platte Kids Academy; Stephanie Phye, All Seasons-Intergenerational Learning Center, Chantel Tonkinson, Ladybug Crossing Childcare.

Romshek said group members have been involved in Policy Leadership Academy trainings across Nebraska. One of the communities they visited was McCook, she said.

“They are doing some great things in their community to promote more child care spots for infants,” she said.

A member of McCook’s Communities for Kids will be on the panel at Friday’s event, Romshek said.

“By having her on the panel, we are hoping that the community of North Platte will see what can be done to promote quality care when we work together,” Romshek said. “We know that once we educate the community on the importance, we will be able to really pull together and do great things.”

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