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Nebraska’s Early Learning Guidelines Revised

Nebraska’s Early Learning Guidelines (ELGs), an excellent resource to assist early childhood professionals and families support young children’s learning and development, have gone through a detailed revision over the past year. The revision brings all ELG content and language up-to-date and continues to ensure they’re relevant and supportive for all professionals in the Nebraska early childhood field.

The ELGs are based on research and evidence about child development and practices that result in the best outcomes for young children. The document provides information related to seven domains or areas of learning and development:

  • Approaches to Learning
  • Creative Arts
  • Health & Physical Development
  • Language & Literacy Development
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social & Emotional Development


The revision team consisted of representatives from various programs around the state, and a major portion of the writing was done by Dr. Michelle Rupiper, professor emeritus, and Amy Encinger, doctoral candidate, both from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

Some highlights of the changes include a new name: “Early Learning Guidelines: Nebraska’s Birth to Five Learning and Development Standards” to align with Nebraska’s K-12 Standards and signal the importance of the early years of development; a new graphic (right) and appearance to increase the visual appeal and make the guidelines easier to use; and combining the previous two documents (Birth-3 and 3-5) into one to express the continuum of learning that happens in the birth to age 5 (below, right click on images to open a larger view in a new tab). 

The revised ELGs feature a new layout, noting connections to nature and suggestions for teaching/environment support. There also is new vocabulary that's common to the early childhood field as well as definitions and examples to ensure clarity and inclusion for all professionals. Each domain introduction includes a focus on supporting children with a wide range of abilities, children from diverse backgrounds and dual language learners.  

Training on the new ELGs has been developed simultaneously and will be available throughout the state beginning in late July. Training locations and times vary by region, please check NDE’s Training Calendar for the most updated information, or contact your region’s Early Learning Connection coordinator. Previous training is still considered valid, but we highly encourage experiencing the refreshed information and strategies through revised training and/or ordering the new book.

Contact me for questions, or you can download a free copy through our website. Order forms for print copies will be available mid-August through the same web page/link; please allow 6-8 weeks for shipping.

Katie Miller
Career Development Coordinator
Nebraska Department of Education – Office of Early Childhood
Katie.miller@nebraska.gov

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