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Early Learning Connection Omaha Region

Early Learning Connection (ELC) Omaha Region works collaboratively with regional partners in the counties of Cass, Douglas, Sarpy and Washington to ensure that a wide variety of professional learning opportunities are offered in response to the needs of educators who work with and care for children birth through age eight.

The work of ELC Omaha Region and all publications are made possible by Grant Number 93.575 Child Care and Development Block Grant from the Office of Child Care, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


Tom Copeland’s Webinar on the new Tier I Rates and how they will benefit child care

This is the best presentation Tom Copeland has made about  being on the food program, especially with the new increase for TierII  providers plus there is more information about tax deduction for non-creditable meals and tax deduction.  Suggest consider having this as a webinar or at least have it for a staff meeting and/or on the website.

Very Important Information!

Here is a link to a recording of this webinar.
Here is a link to the power point slides from this webinar.

Here’s a summary of what these new changes will mean:

  • There will be no change for providers already receiving the Tier I rate.
  • The current Tier I rate is $1.39 breakfast; $2.61 lunch/supper; $0.78 snack (See below for the rates for Alaska and Hawaii).
  • We won’t know the new 2021/2022 reimbursement rate until sometime in July.
  • This represents a 48% increase for providers currently on Tier II: From $595 to $1,242 per child per year (assuming you serve breakfast/lunch/snack each day).
  • Your Food Program sponsor will automatically reimburse you at the higher Tier I rate.
  • All providers who join the Food Program now will get the higher Tier I rate.

Here are some basic rules about the Food Program and claiming food expenses:

  • You must report reimbursements you receive from the Food Program as taxable income (Exception: reimbursements you may receive for your own children are not taxable income.
  • Food served to your own children is never deductible.
  • You can deduct food expenses using either the standard meal allowance method or the actual food cost method.
  • If you use the standard meal allowance method you can deduct up to one breakfast, one lunch, one dinner and three snacks per day per child.
  • You are always better off financially by being on the Food Program. That’s because you will always have more money after paying taxes on Food Program reimbursements.

CACFP and Whispering Roots Cook-Along Training Webinars

NDE and Whispering Roots have partnered to deliver interactive Cooking Matters Cook-Along Training Webinars. This is a repeat of the cook along trainings delivered in November and December. Participants will learn about nutrition, meal planning, and food budgeting from a registered dietitian and will practice making healthy recipes along with cooking tips and tricks from a certified chef. Please share this with anyone you think would be interested!

We are offering three training sessions between February and March!

Each session includes two classes. The first session will take place February 9th and 16th from 5-8 pm CTS. The second session will take place February 23rd and March 2nd from 5-8 pm CTS. And the third session will take place March 11th and 18th from 5-8 pm CST. Participants need to only attend the two classes in a single session.

Other Items to Note:
Pre-registration is required. Participants must attend both classes in a session to receive credit. Participants will be emailed a shopping list of ingredients prior to the training. All classes will take place on Zoom. Following registration, zoom will email a link for attending the course. Cooking along is not required but encouraged! Certificates will be distributed following the completion of the 2nd class in each session. Confirmation emails will be sent once registration is approved. Flyers are attached. Participants will also be mailed a workbook following training.

February 9th and 16th 5-8 pm, Register here.
February 23rd and March 2nd 5-8 pm, Register here
March 11th and 18th 5-8 pm, Register here.

CACFP and Whispering Roots Supplements Webinars

The Nebraska Department of Education Nutrition Services and Whispering Roots are once again teaming up to provide free online supplemental webinar for CACFP participants.  Webinars will be hosted by a Registered Dietitian, a chef, and Nebraska Team Nutrition. Webinars will be interactive and include tips on menu planning, cooking demos, opportunities to ask questions, and more.  All webinars are free and will be held from 1-2 pm CST on zoom. Registration for each participating individual is required.  To register for any or all webinars please follow the link below. Once registration is complete, you will receive information on how to access the webinar. Certificates for in-service hours will be provided following the completion of each webinar. Please share the attached flyer with anyone you think could benefit from this webinar series.

February 11th – Breakfast
February 18th  – Using Herbs and Spices
February 25th  – Cooking with Beans and Meat Alternates
March 4th – Food Safety (Safe storage, preserving, etc.)
March 11th – Seasonal Meal Planning
March 18th – Kids in the kitchen: Nutrition and Culinary Activates

Registration:  Click here.

Also, for the first time ever, a series of webinars will be delivered in Spanish!

Several of these webinars are repeats of webinars offered last fall. As soon as we have a translated flyer available we will send it out! See the translation below for trainings in Spanish. 

The following CACFP/Whispering Roots webinars will be offered in Spanish

Please register for the trainings you wish to attend. Once registration is complete, you will receive and email from zoom which will include the links to attend. All of these trainings will be in Spanish.

- February 11th, 6-7pm: SPANISH – Snacks
- February 18th, 6-7pm: SPANISH – Grocery Shopping & Meal Planning
- February 25th, 6-7pm: SPANISH – Healthy Meals and Cooking Tips
- March 4th, 6-7pm: SPANISH – Food Safety (Safe storage, preserving, etc)

Serie de seminarios web de invierno de CACFP 2021 - Español

Regístrese para las capacitaciones a las que desea asistir. Una vez que se complete el registro, recibirá un correo electrónico de zoom que incluirá los enlaces para asistir. Todos estos entrenamientos serán en español.

- 11 de febrero, 6-7pm: ESPAÑOL – Bocadillos
- 18 de febrero, 6-7pm: ESPAÑOL – Compras y planificación de comidas
- 25 de febrero, 6-7pm: ESPAÑOL – Comidas saludables y consejos de cocina
- 4 de marzo, de 6 a 7 pm: ESPAÑOL - Seguridad alimentaria (almacenamiento seguro, conservación, etc.)

Registration: Click here.

Please contact Christy Burger Nie at with questions.

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