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Investing in Early Childhood Is a Winning Proposition for Nebraska

It’s the state basketball championship game at the Pinnacle Bank Arena, and your team is down three points with one minute to play. You have the ball and one timeout. Both teams are in the double-bonus.

Do you go for three points right away? Wind down the clock a bit? What if you cut the lead to one, do you call a timeout? Foul?

With so much on the line in such a high-pressure situation, it’s hard to imagine how coaches and players routinely manage the stress of the moment, overcome the odds and find a way to win. Fortunately for the fans, children are born with the capacity to develop a highly sophisticated set of skills designed to handle these very situations. These skills include things like the flexibility to deal with the challenges of the game, the selflessness to pass the ball to the open player and the leadership and poise to hit the game’s winning shot.

While children are born with the capacity to develop these skills, they need healthy relationships and interactions with the adults in their lives to realize them. High-quality early learning opportunities are designed specifically to develop these skills, which benefit kids on the court, in the classroom and throughout their lives.

First Five Nebraska congratulates the high school girls basketball teams that showcased their skills in the state tournament last weekend, and the boys teams that will begin state tournament competition today. And for all the parents and grandparents out there with little athletes in their lives, remember that perseverance, teamwork and a sense of fair play begin in early childhood.

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