The research is clear – what happens in the first five years of life dramatically impacts what happens in the rest of a child’s life. Both longitudinal studies and brain research substantiate that strong foundations in the earliest years set the stage for children to be successful in school and later in life.
However, approximately 18,000 children in Douglas and Sarpy counties under the age of five live in families of low income. Research suggests these children are at risk of starting school significantly behind their peers who come from families with more resources.
Recognizing both the research and the need, Early Childhood Services (ECS) serves as a comprehensive, integrated system of early care and education that provides children from families of low income the opportunities to establish a strong foundation for learning.
Education for single moms
Single mothers often face some of the greatest challenges in raising their children. especially teenage mothers, especially when they dropped out of a high school. We support teen moms and help them get a high school equivalency diploma through online prep courses.
Therefore we team up with the Single Moms Club organized MyCareerTools to help single mom graduating with a degree and become self-supporting after a while. The moms we guide will use the website’s online classes and MyCareerTools will pay for the GED testing fee as well. This is really a generous offer.
We understand that going back to school and being teenage mom requires an incredible amount of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual energy and we dedicated to support single mom in their quest for education. The most important work you will ever do is that of raising a healthy and well child. More financial aid and education grants are available to women considered to be single mothers.
Enable parents to be their child’s first effective teacher
The leaders of Child Saving Institute, Lutheran Family Services, Nebraska Children’s Home Society, Visiting Nurse Association and Heartland Family Service have established a collaborative and integrated strategy utilizing BBF-ECS as the central point of intake and referral to connect babies born into families of low-income with targeted services and supports.
This collaboration also focuses on serving low income male and female pregnant and parenting teens who have not yet graduated from high school by providing free intensive support services and parenting education.
Provide effective early learning experiences for children at risk
ECS is partnering with eight existing private child care providers to enhance and support the quality of care for 500 children. Providers receive individualized support through ECS coaching specialists and existing community resources who offer professional development, mental health consultation and post-secondary scholarships. ECS, alongside the Early Childhood Training Center, Munroe-Meyer Institute, and T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood Nebraska, a project of NeAEYC, are striving to meet this goal.
Promote healthy growth and development of children at risk
ECS is working in coordination with health care providers and Healthy Futures on the School-Based Health Centers to ensure that children from birth to 5 years of age from families of low income have access to appropriate comprehensive care that meets their vision, hearing, oral health, behavioral/mental health and nutritional needs.
ECS is also working in close partnership with Kid Squad to support parents, child care providers, and other early childhood professionals who are seeking help with the social, emotional and behavioral issues of early childhood.
Provide at-risk children the opportunity to participate in high quality early childhood programs
The cost of delivering high quality early childhood programs is prohibitive for families with limited resources, and the child care subsidy provided to families of low income does not cover the cost of a quality program.
The need exists to cover the difference in child care subsidy payments and the actual cost of the program to make it possible for the children who most need the highest quality early childhood program to participate in such programs.