"Education opens doors for all who partake. Those doors open even wider if positive educational experiences begin in early childhood... Our efforts in early childhood education mean better health, learning and economic outcomes, particularly for our most vulnerable young children - and that means success for our entire state."
Senator Kate Sullivan
Legislative District 41
What roles will today's youngest children play in our own lives only a few short decades from now? How prepared will they be for the responsibilities and opportunities ahead? First Five Nebraska's new messaging campaign asks how ready we are to meet our future.
"The development of important social skills is one of the best things that happens to kids in high-quality early learning programs... You can't magically instill this in kids as they get older - it has to begin in the very earliest years."
Sheriff Tim Dunning
"The most expensive thing in early childhood is poor quality care with no return on investment." -- Dr. Jack P. Shonkoff, Director of the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, addressing Nebraska legislators, business leaders and school administrators. (Photo: Tom Kates)
LB489 and LB547 will work together to strengthen efforts to help parents of our youngest, most at-risk children provide nurturing early experiences to reduce the achievement gap and foster character traits needed to be successful in school.
Children in approximately 100 Nebraska child care programs are benefiting from their providers' participation in Step Up to Quality, our state's quality improvement and rating system aimed at helping ensure kids enter kindergarten ready to learn. That's good news for children, parents, providers and taxpayers.
"Access to quality early education programs from Omaha to Scottsbluff can help close Nebraska's achievement gap by placing at-risk children on a more level playing field when they enter kindergarten."
Senator Heath Mello
Legislative District 5
Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry
President, Columbus Chamber of Commerce
Dr. Cynthis Ellis