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Early Childhood Highlights from Nebraska’s 2015 Legislative Session

Balancing a wide variety of public interests and with great bipartisan support, the Nebraska Legislature again recognized the critical importance of children’s early years prior to adjourning the 2015 legislative session on May 29.  Of preeminent importance to First Five Nebraska is public policy that recognizes the development of the brain in the early years literally shapes the learning capacity for the rest of a child’s life. Here's a summary of our highest priority bills from the 2015 legislative session. Read More

June 04, 2015  |  Posted in Legislation

Senators Campbell and Sullivan: Unique LB547 Partnerships Will Reach More At-Risk Children

With true bipartisanship, Nebraska senators passed and Governor Ricketts signed legislation to allow partnership between child care providers and schools to help young children receive the kinds of early experiences known to foster cognitive and character skills that lead to success in school and life. Read More

May 28, 2015  |  Posted in Legislation

Common Ground is Key

Child care and education fall under the purview of two different systems in Nebraska, and each approaches early childhood from a unique standpoint. For the Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees child care, the issue revolves around ensuring that children’s fundamental requirements for health and safety are met while in care. Nebraska’s education system, on the other hand, focuses on whether children begin kindergarten ready to learn and prepared to advance academically. The science of early childhood development tells us that these two aspects of child development shouldn’t be addressed as separate considerations. Early child care environments are, or ought to be, learning environments—just as the health and safety of young children are necessary for quality learning to occur. Read More

March 17, 2015  |  Posted in Legislation

LB489 Provides New Option to Help Close Achievement Gap

LB489 allows child care providers to partner with school districts to receive Sixpence Early Learning Fund grants, making them critical partners in local efforts to close the achievement gap for Nebraska's youngest, most at-risk children. Read More

March 06, 2015  |  Posted in Legislation

York Public Schools Superintendent Mike Lucas: Opportunity Knocks—Expanding Sixpence in 2015

As public school educators and administrators, we deal directly with the outcomes of children’s earliest learning experiences. All too often, it’s alarmingly easy for our teachers to tell which students are likely to succeed or struggle in our classrooms within the first days of kindergarten. Read More

February 25, 2015  |  Posted in Legislation