Start Early. Start well.

Professional Development for All

PD for All is a series of free professional development workshops open to all early childhood professionals who serve young children, birth through Grade 3, in the Omaha metro area. The series introduces leading-edge research and innovative practices and also gives participants the opportunity to come together and learn from one another. Watch our highlight video to learn more.

Spring 2021 PD for All Series – Anti-Racist Early Childhood Education: Principles, Practices, and Possibilities

During the spring 2021 Professional Development for All series, principles of anti-racist theory and practice will be discussed, providing educators, researchers, and community members with action-oriented strategies to address inequities and foster authentic and meaningful collaborations in the classroom, research practices, and family partnerships. Facilitated by Kerry-Ann Escayg, an assistant professor of education at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, in partnership with the Buffett Institute, the webinars in this progressive learning series are offered at no charge and will feature national and local education experts, as well as local teachers and parents. Attendees are highly encouraged to register for and attend all three sessions.


Webinar 3, Educators' Reflections on Anti-Racist Teaching

Wednesday, May 26, 7-8 p.m.
Featured presenter, Kerry-Ann Escayg, Ph.D., University of Nebraska at Omaha 



Webinar 1, What Is Anti-Racist Education?

The first webinar in the series was March 24, featuring Terry Husband, Ph.D., a professor of early childhood literacy at Illinois State University. Materials from Webinar 1 are below:

Presentation Slides


Webinar 2, Racial Socialization as Resistance to Racism

The second webinar in the series was April 28, featuring Dalhia Lloyd, M.S., a family and community program specialist at the Buffett Institute. Materials from Webinar 2 are below:

Presentation Slides


Early childhood professionals who participate in these webinars are eligible to receive in-service certificates approved by the Nebraska Department of Education. Learn more about the PD for All series here


Anti-Racism in Early Childhood Education: A Professional Learning Cohort

As part of the 2020-21 Professional Development for All series, the Buffett Institute is offering an anti-racism teacher cohort to early childhood educators. Participants include teachers serving children ages 3 to 8 in Douglas or Sarpy County public schools, child care programs, or preschools. The Institute is committed to bringing together a cohort of teachers representing diverse backgrounds and perspectives.

Participants receive:
Access to scholarly and practical resources
Opportunities to learn with and from colleagues
20 hours of in-service credit
An option to receive 3 graduate or undergraduate credit hours from the University of Nebraska at Omaha

The cohort consists of an eight-session series hosted by Kerry Ann Escayg, an assistant professor of education at UNO. The program, presented entirely virtually, is informed by both conceptual and empirical work on anti-racism education, with an explicit focus on early childhood (Escayg, 2020a). The primary aim of this professional learning experience is to guide educators to develop and enact anti-racist practices and pedagogy to ensure equitable learning opportunities for racialized children.

Learning objectives include:
Recognize the role of racism, past and present, in the broader U.S. context and schooling system 
Engage in critical self-reflection as a means to unearth and interrogate how socialization experiences as well as the racial discourse of U.S. society may impact areas of teaching practice
Develop and implement an anti-racist early years curriculum to foster positive racial identity development among racialized children 
Develop knowledge of and skills in creating anti-racist play-based environments
Develop anti-racist pedagogy and instructional practices
Cultivate anti-racist, family-centered partnerships
Develop strategies to share anti-racist learning and practices with colleagues 

Wednesday, March 24
Eight-session series began

Series sessions take place virtually on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. (March 24,  March 31, April 14, April 21, May 5, May 19, June 2, and June 9).

Contact Amy Schmidtke for more information.

Explore More: Using Technology in Early Childhood Education

Throughout 2020, young children engaged with digital technology like never before as early childhood professionals creatively adapted to a “new normal.” While this shift presents incredible opportunities for children’s learning and development, it also poses questions about appropriate and effective uses of technology in early childhood.

The Buffett Institute is proud to offer a new collection of on-demand resources for early childhood professionals in individual or group settings. Featuring Dr. Chip Donohue, founding director of the Technology in Early Childhood Center at Erikson Institute and senior fellow at the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children's Media, these videos and learning guides offer specific and practical information for the equitable use of technology in classroom and child care environments.


Technology Integration in the Early and Elementary Years

  • This video session examines how intentional and appropriate use of technology supports healthy child development, promotes early learning and early literacy, and encourages social-emotional development while addressing the values of quality, continuity and equity.
  • The professional learning guide takes viewers through “bite-sized” segments of the video, providing opportunities to practice and apply concepts discussed in the recording.


Digital Storytelling: Technology Tools That Support Children’s Documenting, Demonstrating, Sharing, Saving, Reflecting, and Revisiting

  • This video session explores how children can use digital storytelling to “show what they know” and how it can support teaching, family engagement, and documenting learning for all students.
  • The professional learning guide offers a three-part plan to walk early childhood professionals through the knowledge and skills they need to effectively implement digital storytelling with children.

Although continuing education certificates are not available for individuals accessing and completing these pre-recorded sessions, certificate-eligible sessions will be included in the 2021 Spring PD for All series being announced soon. PD for All is a critical piece of the Superintendents' Early Childhood Plan, developed by the Buffett Institute and funded by the Learning Community of Douglas and Sarpy Counties. Check back here soon for more details.



Click here for presentations, videos, and resources from our Professional Development for All institutes.


For more information about Professional Development for All, please contact Kimberlee Telford at

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