Start Early. Start well.
The Buffett Early Childhood Institute works with schools, communities, and families to apply the best of what is known about early care, development, and education and in ways that directly improve children’s learning and development.




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



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.



Public outreach to share what we know about early childhood and to encourage supportive environments for young children.

closing the opportunity gap

This program focuses on ensuring that all children have opportunities to develop, learn, and achieve their potential. Young children who are denied opportunities because of gender, racial or cultural bias, family economic status, or home language typically do not achieve their full academic or personal and social potential. Often they demonstrate achievement gaps in school, poor health outcomes over their lifetime, and unfulfilled quality of life overall. Our goal is to help all children thrive by enhancing their opportunities to learn from birth onward. MORE

36% of children 5 years old and younger in Nebraska are at risk of eventually failing in school*
154,771Children Age 0-5 In Nebraska
60,744 Children 0-5 at Risk in Nebraska

Elevating the early childhood workforce

This program seeks to ensure the presence of a skilled workforce in all early care and education settings. MORE

the need for child care in nebraska

Child care is an economic necessity for working families and businesses—Nebraskans depend on the early childhood workforce to care for and educate their young children. Yet access to high‐quality services is limited and inconsistent, depending on where families live and what they can afford.


12 counties*

Twelve counties in the state do not have any licensed child care facilities, and a year of high-quality infant child care can cost more than college tuition.


$745 million

Inadequate access to child care costs Nebraska families, businesses, and state tax revenues nearly $745 million annually in direct losses, according to a 2020 report by First Five Nebraska and UNL’s Bureau of Business Research.


3,337 jobs

The 2020 report from First Five Nebraska also found that inadequate child care costs an average of 3,337 jobs each year in the state.

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