Ready for Kindergarten

The Impact of Early Childhood Education

by Nebraska Loves Public Schools (funded by the Sherwood Foundation)


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Studies show that the first five years of life determine a child’s long-term learning path — whether that child will succeed and graduate from high school or struggle and fall behind throughout his or her school career. Without proper family support or access to resources that develop early learning, children from at-risk backgrounds can fall dangerously behind their more affluent peers before even stepping foot in the kindergarten classroom. 

 This Nebraska Loves Public Schools program in THE STATE OF EDUCATION IN NEBRASKA series explores what quality early childhood education looks like, how it impacts the community, and how different programs around Nebraska are providing access and resources for our most at-risk children. From increasing college attendance rates to decreasing involvement in the criminal justice system, learn how early childhood education positively impacts Nebraska’s children and helps close the achievement gap.

"High-quality early childhood education brings children who are considered at risk of not having a good school experience to a level where they have much better odds. They have higher education attainments in terms of college, they tend to not be involved in the criminal justice system, and they tend to not have to repeat grades. They actually marry at a higher rate, which means they're having families and becoming community members. All of these things are great news for us as citizens, to know that this kind of investment yields this kind of result for us as a community."

               — Julia Dadds, Executive Director, Educare of Lincoln




Early Childhood Education:
A Foundation for Success

Crete has created an early childhood education program that includes support for the entire family, empowering parents to help their children achieve.

Standing Up to Poverty
Explore the issues facing low-income students across our state and the impact they have on an entire school and community.




Iman Alkanfas
Educare of Lincoln Parent
Mohamed Amar
Educare of Lincoln Parent
Karla Andazola
Lexington Early Learning Academy Parent
Laken Beyard
Crete Public Schools Parent
Amy Bornemeier
Nebraska Children & Families Foundation Associate Vice President
Diane Bruha
Crete Public Schools Assistant Principal & Director of Special Education
Anthony Cook
Omaha Franklin Elementary Parent
Julia Dadds
Educare of Lincoln Executive Director
Carla Gardner
Lexington Early Learning Academy Teacher
Senator John Harms
Nebraska Legislature District 48
Kate Hauptman
Educare of Lincoln Lead Teacher
Decua Jean-Baptiste
Omaha Franklin Elementary Principal
Angie Krolikowski
Crete Public Schools Early Childhood Education Teacher
Connie Lentell
Crete Public Schools Family Literacy Coordinator
Kyle McGowan
Crete Public Schools Superintendent
Dr. Samuel Meisels
Buffet Early Childhood Institute Executive Director
Jennifer Neiman
Omaha Franklin Elementary Parent
Jessie Rasmussen
Buffett Early Childhood Fund President
Stephanni Renn
Crete Public Schools Sixpence Coordinator
Dr. Bob Ripp
Lexington Early Learning Academy Director




NET Learning Services
Nebraska Children and Families Foundation
Nebraska Loves Public Schools
First Five Nebraska
America’s Promise Alliance Grad Nation
Avenue Scholars Foundation
Beyond School Bells
Buffett Early Childhood Fund

Center on Children, Families, and the Law
Coalition for Community Schools
Lincoln Community Foundation
Nebraska Department of Education
Nebraska Trucking Association
Urban League of Nebraska
United Way of Lincoln and Lancaster County

United Way Readers, Tutors, and Mentors

© 2014

American Graduate is funded in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in partnership with America's Promise Alliance, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.