Monday, September 17, 2018
8:30 AM to 4:30 PM CDT

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Younes Conference Center
416 W Talmadge Rd
Kearney, NE 68845

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Lisa Caudle
Buffett Early Childhood Institute

Thriving Children, Families, and Communities: 
The Role of Early Childhood Programs

Demand for high-quality early childhood programs In Nebraska is growing!

On September 17, seven statewide organizations are coming together in Kearney, Nebrraska, to host a day-long session to connect community leaders with early childhood resources and learning. Central to the focus will be the ways in which communities are already leading this effort and tying early childhood programs to the economic development and vitality of their communities.

Community, business, and education leaders seeking practical advice, information, and resources about early care and education programs can register now to attend, Sept. 17 in Kearney. This informative day will combine a keynote presentation, two TEDx-style plenary sessions, networking opportunities, a luncheon panel discussion with community leaders, and hands-on workshops. 

Throughout the day, national, state, and local experts will:

  • Define and reinforce the importance of high-quality early childhood education (birth – age 8)
  • Explain why quality, access, and affordability of early childhood programs are critical to community growth and vitality
  • Provide practical information about building and implementing programs and services
  • Connect community leaders with resources
  • Answer commonly asked questions

The next day, representatives participating in the statewide Communities for Kids initiative will meet to develop local plans of action within their respective communities. Communities for Kids is a program of the Nebraska Children and Families Foundation and includes 14 communities who are receiving technical assistance to advance early childhood programming and services in their communities.


Buffett Early Childhood Fund
Buffett Early Childhood Institute
First Five Nebraska
Nebraska Association of School Boards
Nebraska Children and Families Foundation
Nebraska Community Foundation
Nebraska Extension


Agendas and workshop descriptions for each day are provided below. Sept.17 attendees may register for two workshops.

Monday, Sept. 17
Tuesday, Sept. 18

Registration closes Monday, Sept. 10.

For attendees who need lodging, rooms are available at the Fairfield Inn and La Quinta Inn & Suites. The negotiated group rate, $93/night, is valid for rooms booked before Aug. 20. To reserve a room, contact the hotel directly at the number listed below and use the event code THRIVING CHILDREN. 

Fairfield Inn (510 W Talmadge Road, Kearney, NE):  308-236-4200
La Quinta Inn & Suites (108 3rd Avenue, Kearney, NE):  308-237-4400

Contact Lisa Caudle at the Buffett Early Childhood Institute, 402.554.6504, or lcaudle@nebraska.edu.