The Nebraska Legislature’s Education Committee is touring a Sixpence program in Broken Bow today to learn more about the innovative public-private partnership before holding a public hearing on its visioning process for a statewide strategic plan for education as mandated by LB1103.
Sixpence was formed to help promote opportunities for children to experience positive environments that provide for their healthy growth and development during the earliest years. Last year, Sixpence programs served 342 children and 22 pregnant mothers across the state who otherwise would not have access to high-quality, affordable early childhood education and parenting education.
Independent evaluations recently conducted by researchers at the University of Nebraska’s Munroe-Meyer Institute indicate that Sixpence programs are delivering positive results for at-risk children.
According to 2013-14 assessments, 90 percent of participating children—many of whom come from families facing significant risk factors that compromise effective early learning—were gaining skills at the expected growth rate across major developmental domains.
Children showed particularly strong gains in social-emotional competencies such as initiative, attachment and self-regulation, which influence readiness to learn productively in a classroom. Similarly, parents participating in Sixpence improved their ability to promote effective learning, support confidence and build stronger relationships with their infants and toddlers. Sixpence families succeeded in ensuring that nearly all infants and toddlers in the program met the health indicators identified by Sixpence as important to positive development in the first three years.