Official State of Nebraska website - Return to

First Connections

First Connections is a multifaceted, comprehensive online course offering education about infants and toddlers to teachers, caregivers, and parents across Nebraska and beyond. 

First Connections began in 2000 as a state of the art professional development opportunity.  Since that time there has been much new research and learning about infant and toddler development.  The NDE Office of Early childhood is committed to providing the most current and relevant information for early childhood professionals.  To meet that goal, First Connections has been revised.  Since the revision is considerably different from the original, anyone who previously completed First Connections may repeat the course and receive in-service clock hours.

The revised online training curriculum consists of six modules. Click here for a complete syllabus.

  1. Introduction to Caring for Infants and Toddlers
  2. Part 1: Development of Infants and Toddlers
  3. Part 2: Development of Infants and Toddlers
  4. Program Quality and Evaluation
  5. Relationships with Families
  6. Keeping Infants and Toddlers Safe and Healthy

A limited number of users can participate in the First Connections course at any one time.  Therefore, participants must first pre-register for the course.  Click here to pre-register.

Upon assurance that space is available, payment of a $10.00 fee is required.  Please do not send payment until you are requested to do so.  When the fee has been paid, participants will receive an email with the link to the course, a username and a password.  The course must be completed within 90 days.  By satisfactorily completing the online course, participants will receive 45 in-service clock hours.  To find a complete list of First Connections policies and procedures, click here.

For general information, contact:  Linda Meyers, 402-471-2980,

For specific questions about First Connections, contact one of the following
Monday – Friday, 8:00am – 5:00pm central time, except for observed holidays.

Application process and login:  Tammi Hicken, 402-471-3184, 
First Connections content:  Jennifer Gerdes,
Technical assistance with Blackboard:  Kristina Peters, 402-471-4366,