Buffalo County Early Childhood Collaborative

Facilitating community conversations that lead to opportunities for young children to learn grow and develop in high quality, safe and loving environment.

The Early Childhood Collaborative was started to strengthen partnerships among agencies, increase parent engagement, and support providers to continue to identify gaps and barriers and build on strengths of our community surrounding early childhood.

Communities For Kids

Communities for Kids was created in response to community requests for assistance with shortages of high-quality early childhood care and education programs — shortages that both impact children’s optimal development and pose a challenge for communities hoping to attract and retain the workers they need.

Communities for Kids helps facilitate the conversation among a community’s public and private organizations and provides expertise, tools, and resources to the community to support the creation and implementation of solutions to child care shortages.

Families looking for high quality care can use this list to learn what to look for in a childcare provider.

Rooted in Relationships

Rooted in Relationships is an initiative that partners with communities to implement evidence-based practices that enhance the social-emotional development of children, birth through age 8. One part of this initiative supports communities as they implement the Pyramid Model, a framework of evidence-based practices that promote the social, emotional, and behavioral competence of young children, in selected family childcare homes and childcare centers. In addition, communities develop and implement a long-range plan that influences the early childhood systems of care in the community and supports the healthy social-emotional development of children.

Click Here to learn more about Rooted in Relationships in Buffalo County.

Funding for Early Childcare Providers

Early Learning Scholarship Program

The Early Learning Scholarship program is intended to support working families in meeting the high cost of quality care for children 6 week- 6 years in full/day full/year settings (not attending kindergarten) or attending program due to a need for care that extends beyond the hours provided by a publicly funded program (i.e. wrapping hours around Head Start or Public Preschool).

Application Process:
1. Provider completes application (Click each of the following to download)

  1. Provider FAQ
  2. Process
  3. Providers application
  4. Family application
  5. Checklist

2. Send application and documentation to earlychildhood@bcchp.org.
3. All incomplete, unsigned paperwork will be held or returned to applicant.


Quality and Capacity Scholarship Program

These funds are provided to increase quality, availability, and access to excellent early childhood learning programs in Buffalo County. These funds will support a variety of projects based on each individual community’s early childhood care and educational priorities.  Some examples for the funds include: program start up, materials, trainings, curricula, provider network support and other areas identified to increases capacity and quality efforts.

Application Process:
1. Complete application (Click each of the following to download)

  1. Application Process
  2. Application 

2. Submit application to earlychildhood@bcchp.org. Allow one month for approval after application has been submitted.
3. Upon approval, fill out the fund’s agreement form, include receipts and invoices for purchased items. Incomplete, unsigned paperwork will be held or returned.

Contact Buffalo County Community Partners Early Childhood Coordinator at: earlychildhood@bcchp.org for more information.

Childcare Workforce Development

Child Care Start Up Stipend Application

A one-time $1,000 stipend is available through an application process to any newly licensed child care home or child care center through the months of July 1, 2023, through April 29, 2024. This initiative is aimed toward creating opportunities to increase child care capacity in Buffalo County. For eligibility details see the application document.

It is made possible through Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations funding from Communities for Kids), and Powered by the Buffalo County Community Partners Early Childhood Collaborative (BCECC).

Application Process:
1. Provider completes application (Click below to download)

2. Send application and documentation to Buffalo County Community Partners: assistant@bcchp.org


The UNK Early Childhood Committee was founded in response to the recommendations in the Transforming the Workforce recommendations. The committee engages in various projects to promote the wellbeing of Nebraska children and families and advance the professional preparation of practitioners through education, policy, research, and outreach. The Sixpence Child Care program provides quality and affordable learning opportunities for our youngest and most vulnerable population. The Buffalo County Rooted in Relationships program is working to ensure all children in Buffalo County have strong social emotional skills by providing the Pyramid Model to home and center-based programs as well as creating public awareness on the importance of social emotional development. The goals of these entities clearly align to the shared vision which increases our ability to collaborate effectively.


Childcare Providers – For full list of childcare providers click here

Other Organizations and Stakeholders

Buffalo County Community Partners

Rooted in Relationships

Community Wellbeing

Bilingual Community Connectors

Center for Psychological Services

Director, Jesica Vickers

Circle of Security Parenting Facilitators

Community Childcare Providers and Directors

Natalie Hanna

Lisa Miller

Danielle Frank

Shannon Faz

Tammy Kresser

Educational Unit Service 10

Early Learning Connection Coordinator, Alexandra Dillon

Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce

Kearney Public Schools:

Migrant Coordinator, Dulce Valdez: Serves Students 0-21

Bright Futures Director, Megan Schmidt

Sixpence Child Care Programs, Libbi Harsh, Erin Small


Contact us

For more information, or for any questions, please fill out the form below. 

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