Mayor Issues Donation Challenge for Lincoln Littles

Lincoln, NE (February 10, 2021) Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird today issued the “Mayor’s Big Challenge for Lincoln Littles,” to encourage community donations for the third annual Lincoln Littles Giving Day, Friday, February 12.   Lincoln Littles promotes access to high quality early childhood care and education to build Lincoln’s workforce for the future.

The City has identified one-time funds totaling $500,000 from the recent federal stimulus bill to contribute to Lincoln Littles, and the Mayor is challenging the community to match that amount by donating at

“Our combined efforts would raise one million dollars to support high-quality childcare  – the kind of childcare that that has been proven to lead to improved academic performance and social-emotional skill development for our children and future workforce,” said Mayor Gaylor Baird.  “This is a one-million dollar investment that will lift up young lives and our community for years to come.”

The Mayor launched the challenge in partnership with the Lincoln Community Foundation (LCF) and the Lincoln Littles office for early childhood education and care to support lower-income families struggling because of the pandemic.

“Working families have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.  Many have lost income due to the pandemic, and childcare has become even more difficult to access,” the Mayor said. “My Economic Recovery Task Force highlighted these challenges and called for increased access to childcare as part of its recommended strategies to support our workforce and local businesses.”

“We are thrilled to partner with Mayor Gaylor Baird to raise funds for Lincoln Littles,” said Barbara Bartle, LCF President. “This is an incredible example of a public-private partnership that will serve our youngest Lincoln residents and make a long-term impact on their success, stability, and development.”

The Lincoln Littles initiative improves access to high quality early childhood education for lower-income families by providing tuition assistance.  LCF launched the giving day in 2019 in response to Prosper Lincoln’s community agenda and these findings from Lincoln Vital Signs:

  • About 75 percent of children under age six have both parents in the workforce.
  • About 42 percent of Lincoln families with children under age six live in poverty or near poverty.
  • Lincoln parents at all income levels report expense as the biggest challenge to accessing high quality childcare.
  • In Lincoln, the cost of childcare is more than the cost of public college.

Mayor Gaylor Baird said access to childcare is also a key factor in economic growth. First Five Nebraska reports that inadequate access to childcare costs Nebraska families, businesses, and state tax revenues nearly $745 million annually in direct losses.

Lincoln Littles Giving Day, set to coincide with President Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, has raised $1.3 million since its inception to support lower-income families in Lincoln in partnership with local individual and business philanthropists.

Donate or learn more at

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