Start Early. Start well.

Early Childhood Workforce Conference

Conference Examines Critical Early Childhood Workforce Needs Across Nebraska

The Buffett Early Childhood Institute convened a statewide conference entitled “Transforming the Early Childhood Workforce in Nebraska” on October 5 ⎼ 6, 2015. The conference brought together educators from throughout the state to begin building a consensus around how to address Nebraska’s early childhood workforce needs. More than 120 people from higher education institutions, the Nebraska Department of Education, Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, and other agencies attended the conference. Twenty-two of the state’s 24 higher education institutions were represented. National consultants joined Nebraska experts to discuss strategies to ensure that all children will be served by highly trained early childhood educators.

Immediately following the conference, deans from the University of Nebraska Omaha, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and University of Nebraska at Kearney met with senior NU faculty and consultants in a facilitated think tank to discuss specific action steps.

Conference Reports 


Conference Presentations, Day 1

  • Conference welcome, Dr. Hank Bounds


Conference Presentations, Day 2

  • Conference welcome, Dr. Matt Blomstedt
  • Strategic Planning for Sustainable Change, Panel Discussion
    Panelists: Drs. Jacqueline Jones, Marjorie Kostelnik, Susan Sarver, Marcy Whitebook
    Facilitators: Laura Bornfreund, Sherry Cleary, Dr. Diane M. Horm

Think Tanks
The Buffett Early Childhood Institute convened two think tanks with faculty from Nebraska’s community colleges and 4-year colleges and universities in March 2016 and two think tanks in May 2016 with early childhood professionals who work directly with practitioners or who provide some type of regulatory oversight. Participants were invited to discuss statewide competencies for Nebraska early childhood educators. 

For more information about the Buffett Institute's Elevating the Early Childhood Workforce program, contact Susan Sarver, Director of Workforce Planning and Development ( or 402-554-2924).


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