More than 64,000 infants, toddlers and preschoolers in Nebraska are growing up at-risk of failing school. The 11 counties in our state that account for 64 percent of all at-risk infants, toddlers and preschoolers also account for the 14 school districts with 70 percent of the state’s high school dropouts. Omaha, Nebraska’s largest municipality, is a mid-sized city with big city problems. In fact, the percentage of African-American children living in poverty in Omaha is highest in the nation, topping nearly 60 percent. To make matters worse, Nebraska’s child care licensing regulations, standards and subsidy policies are considered to be among the country’s worst. The good news is more and more people in Nebraska are beginning to awaken to the importance of investing in early learning. Dr. Samuel Meisels, a global leader on early education and the founding executive director of the Buffett Early Childhood Institute at the University of Nebraska, has articulated a vision that many are adopting: “We want to make Nebraska the best place in America to raise a baby.”
Click on the images below to read profiles of the Buffett Early Childhood Fund's Nebraska investments. To read more about all of the Buffett Early Childhood Fund's investments, check out the annual report.