News from First Five Nebraska
July 2017


Our vision is that all Nebraska children begin kindergarten with the experience they need to become successful students and productive citizens.  


Dr. Mark Hald

Guest blogpost:  Science has demonstrated that children who are repeatedly exposed to adverse childhood experiences face severe developmental impacts. Instead of expecting to be well cared for and safe, their expectations of the world lead them to scan repeatedly for the possibility of danger, leaving their nervous system in a chronic state of alert and flooded with high levels of stress hormones. Without intervention, these children often struggle academically and socially, and many don't finish high school.   

Quick Links
  • Children in two of Lincoln's highest-need neighborhoods will receive quality care and education at new Head Start centers. Read More
  • Summer learning goes beyond summer reading, here's a family fun night at the Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum Aug. 5 with many enriching learning experiences for kids. 
  • Early registration is open for NAEYC's annual conference Nov. 15-18 in Atlanta.   Learn More

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Nebraska Law Enforcement Leaders Say Quality Early Learning Can Help Keep Kids Out of Prison Later

"High-quality early childhood programs provide kids with a strong start that prepares them for success in school and reduces the risk of future involvement in crime," said Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine July 20 as he and Douglas County Sheriff Tim Dunning released a new report from Fight Crime: Invest in Kids on the role early learning experiences play in promoting public safety and children's social outcomes. 

Sheriff Dunning emphasized that risk factors often persist across generations in families. "This is a cycle that we can -- and need -- to stop," he said. "But in order to break these cycles, we have to start as early as the destructive patterns do. That means investing in quality programs for our youngest kids, particularly those who are at risk."

The report, Reducing Crime Begins with Early Learning, outlines why it's essential for Nebraskans to pay attention to quality early learning if the state is to deal with its increasingly serious crime and prison overcrowding problems. 

Sixpence Administrator Amy Bornemeier (left) and Sixpence parent engagement representative Reyna Barrales joined Kleine and Dunning
Kleine and Dunning cited Nebraska's Sixpence early learning fund as a good example of programs that enable parents to better guide their children's cognitive and social-emotional growth. However, the need is far greater than what Sixpence can address. It currently reaches about 8% of Nebraska's children at risk under age 3. 

Media coverage: Omaha World-Herald 
                            KETV, Channel 7, Omaha 
       WOWT , Channel 6, Omaha
       KMTV , Channel 3, Omaha 

Top Photo: Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine (left) and Douglas County Sheriff Tim Dunning


The more time children under age 2 spend playing with smart phones, tablets, electronic games and other handheld screens, the more likely they are to begin talking later, according to research presented at the 2017 Pediatric Academic Societies meeting.
            Read More

Reading to babies from birth, especially with enthusiasm like this, builds warm relationships and fosters positive feelings toward learning.