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This NebGuide identifies eight steps for coalitions involved in building community understanding and applies them to the issue of school-age child care.
The process of building community understanding is an important one, regardless of the area of concern. As more and more citizens recognize a particular problem, that problem moves from the private to the public domain and requires the involvement of a larger segment of the community. Though this NebGuide deals specifically with the example of school-age child care, the process of involving the whole community is relevant to any area of policy-making.
How can citizens get started in building community understanding? The process begins with the awareness of a problem. In the case of school-age child care, it may have become apparent to some members of the community that child care costs are too costly for some families or that there may not be enough child care providers for the number of children needing care or that not all child care is as good as it should be. Individuals may work together in a group or coalition to address these problems.