NEBRASKA -- As they celebrate their second anniversary, We Care for Kids' 2024 report underscores a growing need for affordable child care in Nebraska.

According to the survey, 4 out of 5 Nebraskans identify the lack of child care in the state as a problem that needs fixing.

"It's pretty clear Nebraskans are feeling the crisis," said, Claire Wiebe, campaign manager of We Care for Kids. "We're all working hard to get our kids the care they need but we can't do it alone."

Most Nebraskans agree, with 82% saying state legislators need to prioritize child care more than they do now.

After LB 856 was completely gutted of funds to address the lack of affordable child care in the legislature, Wiebe said lawmakers need to address the need.

"We need state legislatures [and] federal policymakers, folks all across the board to be really investing and putting their money where their mouth is and fighting for kids," Wiebe said.

According to Child Care Aware of America, parents are paying at least twice as much for child care as for rent last year.

Nationally, the average cost of care rose to $11,582 per child annually.

Wiebe said current facilities face two problems: staffing and funding.

"We have some fantastic businesses that have great business models, but the reality is it's just a hard field to make work financially," Wiebe said.

With five child care facilities closing down in Lincoln in the past six months, Wiebe believes this will affect organizations in the future if nothing is changed.

"We have seen some growth in the number of child care centers opening since about 2022," Wiebe said.

Wiebe said the legislation passed is a step in the right direction but hopes more is done to address the child care crisis in the future.