Nebraska’s goal is for families to have quality early childhood options, supported by strong community leadership and a well-aligned state system.
The National Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, has notified Nebraska DHHS that an award of $8.9M each year for three years for Preschool Development Grant Birth-Five (PDG) Renewal Grant has been made. Together, contributing partners have pledged $2.7M in matching funds. This award builds on the successful implementation of the Preschool Development Grant last year, whose purpose was to encourage more efficient use of federal, local, and private resources to align and strengthen the delivery of existing early childhood services.
Nebraska has an established national reputation for promoting locally designed early childhood efforts and innovative public-private partnerships. Nebraska’s PDG award will build on those strengths by focusing on community-level needs and improving the alignment and effectiveness of early childhood systems. Activities funded through the grant will closely involve parents as the key stakeholders in guiding children’s early learning and development. These efforts have included the largest and most comprehensive survey of Nebraska families with young children yet conducted in the state.
Twenty-two projects will address gaps and align resources within the Early Childhood System in six targeted areas including:
- Statewide Needs Assessment Plan
- Statewide Strategic Plan
- Maximizing Parental Choice and Knowledge
- Sharing Best Practices and Professional Development for the Early Childhood Workforce
- Improving Overall Quality and Service Integration, Expanding Access and Developing New Programs, Monitoring, Evaluation, and Data Use for Continuous Improvement
- Meaningful Governance and Stakeholder Engagement.
The Preschool Development Grant offers an unprecedented opportunity for Nebraska to assess and improve its early childhood system at the state and local levels. It also provides a framework to bring together the combined resources and expertise of state agencies, early childhood and K-12 educators, community leaders, nonprofits and an array of private sector interests for a common goal—to improve the developmental outcomes of our state’s youngest children.