Child Care Resources

Children and Family Services

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What you need to know


​Answers 4 Families

Answers 4 Families is Nebraska's support and information connection for families and professionals seeking assistance with a family member with special needs.

Birth to 5: Watch me Thrive!

Birth to 5: Watch me Thrive! is a coordinated federal effort to encourage healthy child development, universal developmental and behavioral screening for children, and support for the families and providers who care for them.

Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)

The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) provides aid to child and adult care institutions and family or group day care homes for the provision of nutritious foods that contribute to the wellness, healthy growth and development of young children and the health and wellness of older adults and chronically impaired disabled persons.

First Five Nebraska

First Five Nebraska is a team of professionals with more than 60 years of combined experience in government relations, data analysis and strategic communications. We work to ensure that more of Nebraska's youngest, most vulnerable children begin life with the kinds of developmental experiences that set them on a path to becoming successful students and productive citizens.


Go NAP SACC, or Nebraska's Nutrition and Physical Activity Self-Assessment for Child Care, assists providers in providing education to support children's healthy eating and physical activities. Go NAP SACC offers in-service hours, nutrition and physical activity resources to use for their program and for parent education, one-on-one mentoring from trainers and continuing education opportunities.

Head Start Collaboration Office

Head Start Collaboration Office promotes the school readiness of young children from low-income families through local programs. Head Start and Early Head Start programs support the mental, social, and emotional development of children from birth to age 5. Head Start and Early Head Start programs offer a variety of service models, depending on the needs of the local community. Many Head Start and Early Head Start programs are based in centers and schools. Other programs are located in child care centers and family child care homes. Some programs offer home-based services that assigned dedicated staff who conduct weekly visits to children in their own home and work with the parent as the child's primary teacher.


​​The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (NDHHS) Immunization Program aims to protect people against known and emerging infectious diseases here in Nebraska by enhancing the availability of vaccines through partnerships with community providers throughout Nebraska.​​​​​

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a law that makes free appropriate public education available to eligible children with disabilities and ensures special education and related services are available as well. Grants are provided to support special education and early intervention services for infants through the age of 21. Grants are also awarded through this act to support research, demonstrations, technical assistances and training centers.

Nebraska Child Care Aware

Nebraska Child Care Aware is the nation's most respected hub of child care information for parents and child care providers. A program of Child Care Aware of America, Child Care Aware helps families learn more about the elements of quality child care and how to locate programs in their communities. This program also provides child care providers with access to resources for their child care programs.

Nebraska Children and Families Foundation

The Sixpence Early Learning Fund is Nebraska's signature effort to put our state's youngest and most vulnerable children on the path to success in school and life. Sixpence promotes high-quality early care and learning opportunities that help parents guide the healthy development of their infants and toddlers.

Rooted in Relationships partners with communities to implement evidence-based practices that enhance the social-emotional development of children, birth through age 8. One part of this initiative supports communities as they implement the Pyramid Model. Communities develop and implement a long-range plan that influences the early childhood systems of care in the communities and supports the healthy social-emotional development of children.

Beyond School Bells is a network of advocates, helping to raise the profile on the important role Expanded Learning Opportunity (ELO) programs play. Beyond School Bells mission is to improve access to and quality of ELOs by building partnerships, working toward smarter state and local policy and increasing dialogue about afterschool and summer programs powered by school-community partnerships.

Nebraska's Early Development Network (EDN)

Nebraska's Early Development Network is a collaborative effort of the Nebraska Department of Education and DHHS to serve infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families. The Early Development Network (EDN) provides services and supports that are designed based on the needs of children birth to age three and their families with the belief that parents know what is best for their families. These services are designed to act on what families think is important for their child and family. The Network is staffed by friendly, supportive people who listen to and respect families. The Network also can connect families with other families who have had similar experiences. The goal of the Early Development Network is to provide coordinated services for Nebraska families as conveniently as possible. The program helps families to understand their child's disability and provides assistance in dealing with situations that interfere with the child's development.

Nebraska Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (N-MIECHV)

Nebraska Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (N-MIECHV) is a home visiting program, which is one part of a comprehensive, high quality early childhood system that promotes maternal, infant and early childhood health, safety and development. Home visiting encourages strong parent-child relationships. Home visiting offers a variety of family-focused services to expectant parents and families with new babies and young children.

Nebraska National Association for the Education of Young Children

Nebraska National Association for the Education of Young Children is a state affiliate of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Its purpose is to strengthen and support the early childhood community. Nebraska AEYC provides a variety of projects and services. Nebraska AEYC is committed to supporting high quality care and education for young children in Nebraska. We accomplish this through promoting professional development activities, advocating for issues relating to children and families, serving as a resource for local affiliates/chapters and other agencies involved in working with young children, providing information supportive of high quality services and providing networking opportunities for early childhood professionals throughout the state.

Nebraska Resource and Referral System (NRRS)

The Nebraska Resource and Referral System (NRRS) is a statewide database created with input from Nebraska Families, service providers and organizations. The NRRS provides 1-800 numbers as well as web sites and email contacts to help you connect faster to the services you are seeking. This database provides individuals the opportunity to have a real choice in the diverse selection of service providers by allowing users to more easily locate and compare services of local and state agencies.

Step Up to Quality

Step Up to Quality helps early child care providers and educators recognize and improve quality of their childhood programs, which can have a lifelong, positive impact on young children and their families. Programs enrolled in Step Up to Quality have access to coaching and resources that help them on their path to higher quality. These resources enable any provider or educator to take quality to the next level. Step Up to Quality programs go beyond what is required because they strive to do better for their children and families' futures.

T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood Nebraska

T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood Nebraska provides scholarships to help early care and education professionals complete coursework at a local college and work toward a degree in Early Childhood Education. Scholarships are available for both Associates and Bachelor's Degrees.​

​The Early Childhood Training Center

The Early Childhood Training Center, part of the Nebraska Department of Education's Office of Early Childhood, provides the state leadership for the Early Learning Connection, Nebraska's early childhood professional development system. Together with the seven regional Early Learning Connection partnerships, an array of professional development options are accessible to early childhood teachers and caregivers from child care, Head Start, school-based early learning programs, to parents, child development experts, those who teach teachers and others who touch children's and families' lives.

Zero to Three

Zero to Three works to ensure that babies and toddlers benefit from the early connections that are critical to their well-being and development. Zero to Three's mission is to ensure that all babies and toddlers have a strong start in life. The organization has advanced the proven power of nurturing relationships by transforming the science of early childhood into helpful resources, practical tools and responsive policies for millions of parents, professionals and policymakers.