There are over 5,000 children age 5 and under living in poverty in the city of Lincoln alone. Ninety percent of the human brain develops in the first five years of life, setting the foundation for which all later learning will occur. Healthy brain development in these years is determined by experiences children have – the language they hear, the homes in which they live, their interaction with adults, and everything in between. Children living in poverty are less likely to have the enriched experiences they need in their first years of life, forever impacting their development and ability to reach success.
Community Action provides high-quality early childhood education services to children and families living in poverty through our Early Head Start and Head Start programs. Operating in Lincoln since 1966, our programs focus on readiness – children ready for school, families ready to support their children’s development, and schools ready to prepare the children who walk through their doors to graduate from high school. We ensure that our community’s most vulnerable children are provided the cognitive, social-emotional, physical, and linguistic interventions they need to be ready for kindergarten. Our programs extend beyond the child to serve the whole family. Our Educators and Family Engagement staff provide ongoing support to parents and caregivers to empower them set goals, move toward greater economic stability, and prepare them to be their child’s first and most important teacher. We provide both home-based and center-based program options to best meet the needs of families.
In their earliest years, children depend upon positive interactions with adults to be ready for kindergarten. Our Foster Grandparent Program works alongside our Early Head Start and Head Start programs to ensure our enrolled children receive the social-emotional supports necessary to develop to their fullest potential.