The Issue

Quality early childhood experiences are empirically linked to improve young children’s social and cognitive outcomes and pre-school readiness. A person’s growth and development into healthy and successful adults is greatly influenced by the quality of their early childhood experiences. Therefore, it is critical for educators, families, and caregivers to provide young children with responsive, stimulating and affirming environments that promotes their social, cultural, physical, emotional and cognitive development.

The Response

We know that there are short and long term societal and educational benefits for investing in our youngest community members. Therefore, Extension faculty and staff are committed to increasing the quality of and accessibility to early learning experiences that support the holistic development of young children (Birth-age 8). Extension has the unique infrastructure to be an important, accessible and viable resource to multiple stakeholders across the state who are also focusing on serving the children and families of Nebraska through quality early care programming.

Coalitions and Partners

To support our goals and efforts in being a distinguished resource for Nebraska’s children and families, Extension faculty and staff collaborates will various stakeholders and partners across Nebraska such as: educational leaders from Department of Education, Health and Human Services and Head Start Collaboration Office; UNL early childhood scholars and researchers; local, state and national early childhood professional organizations; local child care agencies and centers; and local Extension boards.

Impact and Results

Extension’s early childhood programming will serve pre-school and primary school age children and their families in both formal and informal educational settings by providing resources and programs to families, educators and caregivers. Providing such services, increases the access to quality learning experiences for young children and thereby enhances the lives of Nebraska’s children and families.


For family, children and parenting resources and information, refer to

Faculty Contacts

Dipti Dev Betti and Richard Robinson Associate Professor and Childhood Health Behaviors Extension Specialist