Child Care

Quality Child Care


Child Care 2017-11-01T19:19:30+00:00

CDA Scholarship Project

Child Development Associate Scholarship Project

What is the CDA Scholarship Project?

The CDA Scholarship Project provides individuals working in early childhood care and education programs in Nebraska the opportunity to apply for funds to assist with the costs of achieving a Child Development Associate (CDA) credential. Funds for this project come from the federal Child Care and Development Fund and may be used for the initial assessment or renewal fees. The Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) Office of Early Childhood administers this project.

What is a CDA?

A Child Development Associate is an individual who has successfully completed a CDA assessment and has been awarded the CDA credential. S/he is able to meet the specific needs of children and work with parents and other adults to nurture children’s physical, social, emotional, and intellectual growth within a child development framework.

Who is eligible to apply for scholarship funds?

Anyone working in an early childhood program in Nebraska who has completed the required documentation is eligible to apply for CDA Scholarship funds.

What costs are covered?

The CDA Scholarship Project covers only the fees for the initial CDA assessment and for renewal of a CDA. Individuals are responsible for paying the cost of the CDA application packet. The application packet is available on the Council for Early Childhood Professional Recognition website at

How do individuals apply for funds?

The NDE Office of Early Childhood accepts applications on a year round basis. Each application will be reviewed by NDE staff. Anyone interested should follow the steps listed below:

  1. Complete all documentation as required in the application packet.
  2. No later than three (3) weeks prior to submitting application materials to the Council for Early Childhood Professional Recognition, send an application for a CDA Scholarship to the NDE Office of Early Childhood.
  3. Upon approval, NDE will email a Letter of Authorization to the applicant. This letter provides authorization for the Council for Early Childhood Professional Recognition to invoice NDE for the appropriate fees. This Letter of Authorization will be valid for 60 days and must be included with the application being sent to the Council for Early Childhood Professional Recognition.

CDA Scholarship Application

For questions regarding the CDA Scholarship Project, please contact:

Linda Meyers, Education Specialist
Office of Early Childhood
Nebraska Department of Education
Phone: 402-471-2980

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CDA Credentialing

Child Development Associate (CDA) Credentialing

New – Effective April 15, 2013, the NDE Office of Early Childhood will no longer accept applications for a CDA Scholarship in the current system. Beginning June 1, 2013, the NDE Office of Early Childhood will begin accepting applications on a year-round basis. This date coincides with the transition to the CDA 2.0 system by the Council. NDE is implementing a system of payment that will allow CDA applicants to apply and/or renew online if they choose. Upon approval for a CDA Scholarship, NDE will email a Letter of Authorization to the applicant. This letter provides authorization for the Council for Early Childhood Professional Recognition to invoice NDE for the appropriate fees. This Letter of Authorization will be valid for 60 days and must be included with the application being sent to the Council for Early Childhood Professional Recognition.

For more information, please contact Linda Meyers (402-471-2980). Please share this information with others in your agency who have involvement with CDA.

The Council for Professional Recognition administers the Child Development Associate (CDA) National Credentialing Program. The CDA Program is designed to assess and credential early childhood education professionals. The CDA credential is based on a core set of competency standards. There are four types of credentials: preschool, infant/toddler, family child care, and home visitor. CDA Candidates must complete 120 hours of formal training, have experience in the appropriate setting, develop a professional (portfolio), distribute and collect parent questionnaires, and be observed by a CDA (Professional Development Specialists). Once the candidate has completed all of the requirements they can apply for a verification visit. The verification visit is conducted by the Professional Development Specialists. The candidate will take an exam at a Pearson Vue Testing Center.

Further information is available on the Council for Professional Recognition website. In Nebraska contact Linda Meyers (402-471-2980) for information on CDA credentialing.

Nebraska CDA Scholarships

CDA Credentialing 2017-11-01T18:59:50+00:00

Brain Development

Early Brain Development

The first three years of a child’s life are more important for emotional and intellectual growth than previously thought. This is one significant finding of the new discoveries about brain development. The quality of early experiences influence the brain structure and a child’s development with lifetime impact.

During the first three years of life, the brain is forming connections that will determine a lifetime of skills and potential. Parents, early childhood teachers and caregivers, policymakers and employers all have a role to plan to insure that these early years are safe, and responsive and stimulating for young children’s optimal development.


Brain Development Annotated Bibliography is a list of selected titles available from the media center on the topic of brain development.


The following is a list of links to other sites which address the topic of brain development:

Brain Connection to Education contains a vast array of information on conferences, education and the brain, neuroscience, research, and more.

Brain Development, from the Neuroscience for Kids website at the University of Washington.

Brain Development. Zero to Three has created this site about how the brain develops, within the context of relationships, from conception through three years of age.

Brain Development: Frequently Asked Questions addresses prenatal, postnatal, and general questions on brain development.

BrainNet distributes or assists in the distribution of information related to the central nervous system and various neurological disorders. What makes this organization unique is that most of the information they distribute cannot be found on the Internet.

The BrainWeb and Brain Information. The Dana Foundation’s website provides information on brain diseases and disorders, and includes the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, and organization of 170 pre-eminent neuroscientists.

Learning Windows and the Child’s Brain, is from Superkids Educational Software Review and the Parent’s and Teacher’s Guide to Software.


For additional information about brain development, or to request training on this topic, contact Emily Nash at or 402-557-6893.


Brain Development 2017-08-01T19:49:30+00:00

Birth-to-Three Educational Endowment

Nebraska Early Childhood Education Endowment Fund
Sixpence Programs (birth to three)

Research has shown that high quality programming is very important for infants and toddlers development. Knowledgeable workers, the number of children in a group, and the ratio of children to caregivers are all important in developing a quality program.

The Nebraska Early Childhood Education Endowment Fund, known as Sixpence, requires programs to meet Quality Criteria that ensure children are in settings that will provide maximum benefit for their positive development.

baby grasping

Sixpence programs are either family engagement, center-based or a combination of the two. They are all operated through a Nebraska school district, the district may be partnering with another program to actually provide the early childhood services.

The fund represents Nebraska’s commitment to meeting the needs of children birth to three in the most critical years of development. It is an innovative public/private venture with the Nebraska Department of Education providing $40 million dollars from the Permanent School Fund and another 20 million dollars raised privately. The programs are administered through the Nebraska Children and Families Foundation. Currently funded school districts are in these communities; Alliance, Broken Bow, Crete, Lincoln, Loup City, Macy, Omaha, Plattsmouth, Santee, Walthill, and York.

The Early Childhood Training Center supports infant and toddler practices through links to websites of value, extensive materials available through the media center, identification of membership organizations, training and technical assistance.

For further information on the birth to three Sixpence programs visit


Birth-to-Three Educational Endowment 2017-08-01T19:49:30+00:00

Environment Rating Scales (ERS)

The early childhood care and education field in Nebraska continually strives to improve the quality of programs for young children and their families. The use of environment rating scales is a widely accepted method of evaluating and improving the quality of home- and center-based programs.

Environment Rating Scales is broadly defined and currently includes Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (ECERS-3), Infant Toddler Environment Rating Scale-Revised (ITERS-R), and the Family Child Care Environment Rating Scale-Revised (FCCERS-R).

Training by Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) staff on the Environment Rating Scales is designed for early childhood educators working in Nebraska and is for the purpose of quality program improvement of Nebraska early childhood programs. This training by NDE is not endorsed by the Environment Rating Scale Institute (ERSI) in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Staff of the ERSI, and their associates, are the only authorized trainers on the Environment Rating Scales.

2017 Training


ERS Introduction – ECERS-3, ITERS-R & FCCERS-R
April 1 – Wakefield

Register Here
A Closer Look – ECERS-3
April 21 – Kearney

Register Here


A Closer Look – ECERS-3
May 5 – Lincoln

Register Here
Item Analysis – ITERS-R
May 9 – La Vista

Register Here
Item Analysis – FCCERS-R
May 10 – La Vista

Register Here
A Closer Look – ECERS-3
May 12 – Ogallala

Register Here
Item Analysis – ECERS-3
May 16 – Lincoln

Register Here


ERS Introduction – ECERS-3, ITERS-R & FCCERS-R
June 6 – Scottsbluff

Register Here
Practice Using ERS – ECERS-3, ITERS-R & FCCERS-R
June 7 & 8 – Scottsbluff

Register Here


A Closer Look – ECERS-3
August 1 – Norfolk

Register Here
A Closer Look – ECERS-3
August 3 – Webinar

Register Here
ERS Introduction – ECERS-3, ITERS-R & FCCERS-R
August 28 – La Vista

Register Here
Practice Using ERS – ECERS-3, ITERS-R & FCCERS-R
August 29 & 30 – La Vista

Register Here
A Closer Look – ITERS-R & FCCERS-R
August 31 – La Vista

Register Here


ERS Introduction – ECERS-3, ITERS-R & FCCERS-R
September 8 – North Platte

Register Here
A Closer Look – ECERS-3
September 8 – Scottsbluff

Register Here
A Closer Look – ECERS-3
September 15 – La Vista

Register Here
A Closer Look – ECERS-3
September 22 – Grand Island

Register Here


A Closer Look – ECERS-3
October 6 – Columbus

Register Here

For more information on this training, contact 800-89-CHILD,or Jenny Fleming at 402-471-4389.

Environment Rating Scales (ERS) 2017-08-01T19:49:34+00:00

Nebraska Head Start Directors

Head Start State Collaboration Office: Head Start Directors

Jill Bomberger
Head Start Director
Community Action Partnership of Lancaster and Saunders Counties
210 O Street
Lincoln, NE 68508
Business: 402-471-4515 ext. 127
Fax: 402-471-4844
Sharlene Mengel
Early Head Start Director
Salvation Army
3612 Cuming Street
Omaha, NE 68131
Business: 402-898-5920
Fax: 402-898-7533
Lois Butler
Head Start Director, Community Action Partnership of Mid-Nebraska
P.O. Box 2288, 114 E 11th Street
Kearney, NE 68848
Business: 308-865-5334
Fax: 308-865-5333
Suzan Obermiller
Early Childhood Programs Director
Central NE Community Services, Inc.
626 N Street, P.O. Box 509
Loup City, NE 68853
Business: 308-745-0780 Ext:123
Fax: 308-745-0824
Angie Antholz
SENCA Head Start Director
802 4th Street, P.O. Box 646
Humboldt, NE 68376
Business: 402-862-2411, ext. 113
Fax: 402-862-2428
Sarah Ochoa
Migrant and Seasonal Head Start
3350 10th Street
Gering, NE 69341
Business: 308-635-3089
Fax: 308-635-0264
Rita Eichelberger
Head Start Administrator
Northeast Nebraska Community Action Partnership
603 Earl Street/PO Box 667
Pender, NE 68047-0667
Business: 402-385-6300; 800-445-2505
Fax: 385-6310
Julie Prusa
Head Start Director
Omaha Tribe of Nebraska
P.O. Box 459
Macy, NE 68039
Business: 402-837-4110
Fax: 402-837-5340
Annette Ferando
Head Start Director
Sarpy County Cooperative Head Start
701 Olson Dr., Suite 111
Papillion, NE 68046
Business: 402-339-6592
Fax: 402-339-6738
DeAnn Koerber
Head Start Director
Northwest Community Action Partnership
270 Pine Street
Chadron, NE 69337
Business: 308-432-3393, Ext. 22
Fax: 308-432-4896
Pam Dobrovolny
Cass County Head Start
1912 East Highway 34
Plattsmouth, NE 68048
Business: 402-296-5250; Ext. 2619
Fax: 402-296-5202
Deb Ross
Head Start Executive Director
Child & Family Development Program, Inc.
123 Marian Road
Hastings, NE 68901
Business: 402-462-4187 ext.148
Fax: 402-462-4568
Cindy Rasmussen
Head Start Director
2906 N. 30th Street
Omaha, NE 68111
Business: 531-299-9683
Joyce Thomas
Head Start Director
Santee Sioux Nation Head Start
425 Frazier Avenue N, Suite 2
Niobrara, NE 68760
Business: 402-857-3738
Fax: 402-857-2307
Stephanie Knust
Head Start Director
Midland Lutheran College/
Dodge County Head Start
P.O. Box 244
Fremont, NE 68026
Business: 402-721-9022
Fax: 402-721-0504
Shelley Maass
Federal Programs Director
Saunders County Head Start Delegate
2201 North Locust
Wahoo, NE 68066
Business: 402-443-4250
Amy LaPointe
Head Start Director
Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska
P.O. Box 747
Winnebago, NE 68071
Business: 402-878-3228
Fax: 402-878-3228
Tiffany Shonerd
Children Services Director
Blue Valley Community Action Partnership
P.O. Box 273
Fairbury, NE 68352
Business: 402-729-2278 x 317
Fax: 402-729-2801
Peggy LaRose
Early Head Start Director
Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska
P.O. Box 747
Winnebago, NE 68071
Business: 402-878-3228
Fax: 402-878-3228
Jane Happe
Executive Director
Educare of Omaha
2123 Paul Street
Omaha, NE
Business: 402-898-1783
Donna Jenne

Head Start Director

ESU 13

4215 Avenue I
Scottsbluff, NE 69361

Business: 308-635-3696
Fax: 308-635-0680
Carrie Sanderfer

Director Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership
Nebraska Early Childhood Collaborative

Omaha, NE 68102

Business: 573-200-5954

Nebraska Head Start Directors 2017-08-01T19:49:38+00:00
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