Inclusive Care/Natural Environments

Inclusive Practices

This page is a source of information on early childhood inclusion. Listed on this page, you will find a collection of pages from the Office of Early Childhood’s website as well as other external links.

Information found on the Office of Early Childhood Web pages

Business Practices
This annotated bibliography on business practices includes sources of information for child care providers who care for children with special needs.

Child Care and Early Childhood Education Management Training Program

The purpose of the Management Training Program is to increase the knowledge and abilities of child care and early childhood education program administrators. The 12 training modules reflect developmentally appropriate and family centered practices and, to the maximum extent possible, the inclusion of children with special needs, and cultural, racial, and linguistic diversity.

Children with Special Needs
This annotated bibliography is a collection of the best titles in the Early Childhood Training Center’s media center on the topic of children with special needs. A variety of subjects is covered, from specific disabilities, to general information, child care, and inclusion.

Cultural Diversity
The cultural diversity bibliography includes information on other cultures, but also includes information on poverty and disability issues.

Nebraska’s Core Competencies for Early Childhood Professionals
Core knowledge and core competencies are what all adults who work with children need to know, understand, and be able to do to support children’s development and school readiness. They provide a broad categorization of knowledge and skills that apply across all roles in the early care and education field.

NECTAC Database of Inclusion Resources
The National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (NECTAC) has developed a searchable online database of resources derived from over 180 presentations from the 2006-2010 national Inclusion Institutes. You can search by year, presenter name, or topic to find Power Point presentations and handouts. This should be a useful resource for faculty members, professional development providers, and others who want to share relevant and current information related to the inclusion of young children with disabilities and their families.

Results Matter
Results Matter in Nebraska is responsive to the federal mandate of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) Part C (birth to age three) and Part B, 619 (three to five year olds), as well as the state requirements of Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) Rule 11, Regulations for Early Childhood Programs.

External sites of interest to support inclusive classroom practices

Autism Internet Modules Project
A series of 60 training modules are being developed that can be accessed by digital telephone or computer.

Birth to Three Natural Environments
Wisconsin’s website and forum for sharing and exploring the future of early intervention.

Circle of Inclusion
The Circle of Inclusion Web site is for early childhood service providers and families of young children. This web site offers demonstrations of and information about the effective practices of inclusive educational programs for children from birth through age eight.

Early Childhood Family Support: Special Education Law and Young Children with Disabilities
This BlogSpot provides descriptive information about natural environments, the natural environments mandate, and choosing between home and inclusive care settings.

Early Childhood Inclusion: A Joint Position Statement

The Division for Early Childhood’s Council for Exceptional Children and the National Association for the Education of Young Children have collaborated on a position statement on early childhood Inclusion.

Frank Porter Graham National Professional Development Center on Inclusion
The National Professional Development Center on Inclusion (NPDCI) is working with states to ensure that early childhood teachers are prepared to educate and care for young children with disabilities in settings with their typically developing peers.

Keys to Natural Environments and Inclusion
NECTAC supports the implementation of the early childhood provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA). Its mission is to strengthen service systems to ensure that children with disabilities, birth through five, and their families receive and benefit from high quality, culturally appropriate, and family-centered supports and services.

NECTAC, the National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center, serves to strengthen service systems to ensure that children with disabilities (birth through 5 years) and their families receive and benefit from high quality, culturally appropriate and family-centered supports, and services. Visit this organization’s page on natural environments and inclusion.


Inclusive Care/Natural Environments 2017-11-01T18:56:00+00:00

Healthy Children Nebraska

Healthy Children Nebraska

This is the place to find quality information on a variety of subjects about child health. The lists will take you to quality information from health care organizations and leading health experts.

Healthy Children Nebraska 2017-09-13T21:38:22+00:00

Home Visitation Training

Nebraska Home Visiting Core Practices and Principles

In 2012, Nebraska released a Home Visiting Core Practices and Principles Online Training program, which provides information and resources that all home visitors can use.

The training is made up of seven core modules designed to provide home visitors with the foundation for working with parents in the home. The modules focus on topics such as effective communication, family systems, cultural competency, observation and documentation, and care of self. Activities are embedded in the training, many of which require the home visitor to work with their supervisor, creating an opportunity for reflective supervision.

The training is available at no cost to anyone who is interested, including parents. Users can obtain certificates for individual modules or for completing the full training program by passing quizzes that are built into the system. It is also possible to log in as a guest (for parents and other non-home visitors) to view the content but not be required to take the tests.

The online training program was developed over the course of about a year using Part C ARRA funds. Most of the curriculum and content for the modules was adapted from an existing 6-day face-to-face training already being offered in the state. The online format was pursued in response to hearing from home visitors that the in-person training was too difficult to attend because of the time commitment and fees required. A cross-agency stakeholder group, which also included private home visiting funders, led the work to develop and disseminate the self-paced training program.

Part C Early Intervention staff began piloting the training program in April 2012. Feedback so far is very positive. Part C home visitors are strongly encouraged to complete the full training program (with an 80% pass rate on all quizzes) within 3 months of being hired.

To learn more about the Nebraska Home Visiting Core Practices and Principles Online Training or to take the training yourself, visit

Home Visitation Training 2017-08-01T19:49:37+00:00

Early Childhood Education Grant Program—Ages 3 to 5

The Early Childhood Education Grant Program is intended to support the development of children in the birth to kindergarten age range through the provision of comprehensive center- based programs. In most cases the projects expand and/or combine existing pre-kindergarten programs funded through district, federal, or parent fees, including Head Start. Each project receives funding for up to one-half of the total operating budget of the project per year on a continuing basis, subject to availability of the funds. A public school or an educational service unit is the fiscal agent.

Funded projects are required to operate in compliance with Rule 11 Regulations for Early Childhood Education Grant Program. Rule 11 reflects research-based elements of quality early childhood education programs intended to produce strong outcomes for children.

Such elements of quality include:

  • a strong family involvement/education component recognizing the central role of parents in their children’s development and learning;
  • well-trained staff and optimum staff and child ratios in programs providing direct services to children;
  • developmentally and linguistically appropriate and culturally sensitive curriculum, practices, and assessment;
  • sensitivity to the economic and logistical needs and circumstances of families in the provision of services;
  • integration of children of diverse social and economic characteristics;
  • inclusion of children with disabilities;
  • a sound evaluation component;
  • continuity with programs in kindergarten and elementary grades;
  • procedures to ensure participating children and families have access to comprehensive nutrition, (including at least one meal per day) and health and social services; and,
  • a parent/community advisory group which provides substantive ongoing direction to the program.

Evaluation Progress Reports

For further information, please contact Kristine Luebbe at or 402-471-1860.


Early Childhood Education Grant Program—Ages 3 to 5 2017-08-14T18:58:03+00:00

Getting Down to Business Training

Getting Down to Business Training

Getting Down to Business training is a series of four interactive workshops designed for family child care providers on how to operate a family child care business. The workshop topics include:

Module I—The Business of Family Child Care
Module II—Child Development and Learning
Module III—Policies and Procedures
Module IV—Relationships in Family Child Care

The complete series of training will equal 20 in-service credit hours for Nebraska state licensed child care providers.

For the schedule and registration information visit the statewide Training Calendar

For further information, please contact Dena Johnson at, 402-557-6886, or 1-800-89-CHILD.

Getting Down to Business Training 2017-08-01T19:49:35+00:00

First Connections with Families

Children are made readers on the laps of their parents –Emilie Buchwald

First Connections with Families is a statewide initiative developed by the Nebraska Department of Education, in cooperation with the Health & Human Services System, to meet the requirements of LB 326, the Nebraska Read, Education and Develop Youth Act. This booklet contains information about child development, reading to your child, and child health and safety.

First Connections with Families is distributed to families in Nebraska with newborn babies.

First Connections with Families Order Form
View booklet in English.
View booklet in Spanish.

Thank you to staff at the Nebraska Department of Education Office of Early Childhood, the Early Childhood Training Center and the Health & Human Services System Department of Services for their contributions in writing and design.


First Connections with Families 2017-08-22T19:09:27+00:00

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. 

The online training curriculum consists of six modules. Download the a complete First Connections 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

Requirements of the course include reading information, viewing video, completing assignments and taking short tests. All assignments and tests must be completed and graded prior to the end of the course.

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. You can pre-register on this page.

Upon assurance that space is available, payment of a $25.00 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.  Download the complete list of First Connections policies and procedures

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:  Drew Worster, 402-471-0533,

First Connections 2017-10-24T14:37:11+00:00

Early Learning Guidelines

***Early Learning Guidelines Trainer Application***

You are invited to apply and have until October 13, 2017 to submit your application. Access the application here: ELG Trainer Application

The Nebraska Early Learning Guidelines for 3 to 5 year-olds is under revision.

This exciting resource is available to assist early childhood caregivers/teachers, parents and other adults with information about supporting the learning and development of young children.

Use of the Guidelines is voluntary. The goal is to develop a resource that people want to use. The Guidelines include information about: 1) what you can expect most 3 to 5 year-olds to know and be able to do, and 2) what you can do to provide experiences and environments to support their learning.

The Nebraska Early Learning Guidelines are based on research and evidence about child development and practices that result in the best outcomes for young children. The Guidelines provide information related to seven domains or areas of learning and development:


Early Learning Guidelines training workshops have been created to assist early childhood caregivers/teacher and other adults with information about supporting the learning and development of children. Training is available based on the guidelines for each domain. Learn more.

You can also search the training calendar for information on upcoming workshops, and search the media center for resources to support the various training topics.

Copies of the Early Learning Guidelines are available for download using the links below.

Nebraska Early Learning Guidelines: Ages Birth to 3, English (2005)
Nebraska Early Learning Guidelines: Ages Birth to 3, Spanish (2005)
Nebraska Early Learning Guidelines: Ages 3 to 5, English (2013)
Nebraska Early Learning Guidelines: Ages 3 to 5, Spanish (2005)
Kindergarten Early Learning Guidelines: Language and Literacy, English
Kindergarten Early Learning Guidelines: Mathematics, English
Early Learning Guidelines, Nature Supplement
Foundations for Success: What Nebraska’s Children Need Us to Know

NDE links to supplemental information:

Results Matter in Nebraska

External links to supplemental information:

To Order

To order copies of the Nebraska Early Learning Guidelines complete this order form or contact Tammi Hicken at or 1-888-566-4357.

For further information about the Nebraska Early Learning Guidelines, please contact Emily Nash at or 402-557-6893.

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Early Learning Guidelines 2017-10-25T18:59:33+00:00

Early Learning Connection Partnerships

ELC logo

Early Learning Connection Partnerships

ELC map

CentralSoutheastPlatte ValleyNorth/North CentralSoutheastPanhandleNorthernHigh PlainsCentralSoutheastPlatte ValleyOmaha


Educational Service Unit #10
P.O. Box 850
Kearney, NE 68848
Phone: 308-237-5927, Ext. 286
Fax: 308-237-5920



Educational Service Unit #13
1114 Toledo Street
Sidney, NE 69162
Phone: 308-254-4677



Educational Service Unit #3
6949 South 110th Street
LaVista, NE 68128
Phone: 402-597-4991
Fax: 402-597-4811



Educational Service Unit #7
2657 44th Avenue
Columbus, NE 68601
Phone: 402-564-5753
Fax: 402-563-1121



Educational Service Unit #16
314 West 1st Street, Box 915
Ogallala, NE 69153
Phone: 308-284-8481 or 308-289-6109
Fax: 308-284-8483



Educational Service Unit #6
210 5th Street
Milford, NE 68405
Phone: 402-761-3341



Educational Service Unit #1
211 Tenth Street
Wakefield, NE, 68784
Phone: 402-287-2061
Fax: 402-287-2065

ELC logo

Early Learning Connection Partnerships 2017-09-13T20:38:38+00:00

Early Childhood Policy Study

Nebraska Early Childhood Policy Study

At the request of the State Board of Education, the Nebraska Department of Education conducted an early childhood education policy study. The study is an outgrowth of the State Board’s early childhood recommendations in providing equitable opportunities for an essential education for all students.

Statement of Commitment
Nebraska Early Childhood Policy Study Report
Nebraska Early Childhood Policy Study Report Summary

Early Childhood Policy Study 2017-08-01T19:49:33+00:00
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