Early Childhood Education

In the city of Lincoln alone, over 3,600 children under age 5 are living in poverty.

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, dual-generation 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's readiness for school, families' readiness to support their children’s development, and schools' readiness to prepare the children who walk through their doors to one day graduate from high school. We partner with children, families, and the community on the pathway to success, ensuring that children in our community from at-risk backgrounds 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.

View our most recent Early Head Start and Head Start Annual Report here.

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.