The Buffett Early Childhood institute at the University of Nebraska was created in 2011 with a goal to become a leader in the care and education of vulnerable children. Executive Director, Dr. Samuel Mesiels spoke to the NU Board of Regents this week to report on the work and early success of the program. Their goal is to make a difference in young children’s lives.
Dr. Mesiels says, “No other university in the country – public or private – has made as large a commitment to the field of early care and education as the University of Nebraska. The opportunity presented here is nothing short of a remarkable and we are grateful for the support of the university and board of regents these past three years.”
The Institute has two signature programs – the Achievement Gap Challenge and the Early Childhood Workforce Development Program. members also visited 24 communities in Nebraska and met with community and education leaders and professionals to learn about the needs across the state. Buffett Institute leadership and early childhood leaders in the Panhandle are working together to develop strategies that support young children in the 11 western most counties in Nebraska.
Dr. Meisels says that 42% of children ages 0-5 in Nebraska are at risk of failing in school because of poverty. He notes this is a problem impacting both urban and rural communities in Nebraska and the entire state should be alerted of this.
Their long term goal is to transform the lives of young children by improving their learning and development and Nebraska becomes the best place in the nation to be a baby.