Start Early. Start well.

The vision of the Buffett Early Childhood Institute is that Nebraska will become the best place in the nation to be a baby.


Our mission is to transform the lives of young children by improving their learning and development.


We bring together those who are working to improve early childhood education and development. We serve as a catalyst for change and provide a unified vision and common approach for how we can work together to improve children’s learning and development.

We partner with schools, communities, policymakers, and others to share—and apply—the best of what is known about early childhood development. We serve as a bridge to resources and information for parents, providers, and the public. We communicate what we know to improve the lives of vulnerable young children and their families.


At the Buffett Institute, we believe we have an extraordinary opportunity to work with others to transform the early life experiences of children from birth through age 8. We focus especially on children living in poverty, those growing up under conditions of high stress and familial challenge, and children with developmental delays.

We devote ourselves to:



Applied research in support of the learning and development of children at risk, birth through age 8.

Mother and child


Working with others to implement evidence-based practices that improve young children's learning and development.



Public policy informed by the best available evidence of what works to improve learning and developmental outcomes. 

Two toddlers


Outreach and public education to share what we know about early childhood and to encourage supportive environments for young children. 

Our History

The Buffett Early Childhood Institute emerged from the shared vision of the University of Nebraska leadership and Susie Buffett, a longtime philanthropist and champion of early childhood education and development.

The vision was to transform early childhood development—especially for children at risk—by leveraging the resources of the four campuses of the University of Nebraska and applying the best of what is known about the science and benefits of early childhood intervention. The Institute is intended to focus on applied research, professional preparation for early childhood educators and providers, public policy, and outreach to all corners of the state—and beyond.

The University of Nebraska is one of the nation’s leading public universities—and the first to create an institute that focuses on young children at risk in such a profound way. Early childhood development is one of the top five priorities of the University of Nebraska and reflects a system-wide commitment to early childhood education and care. The four NU campuses have a wealth of expertise in early childhood development, and the Buffett Institute is partnering with each in various areas.

Read About Our Campus Partnerships

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