What is this about?

The Nebraska Young Child Institute (NYCI) is a state-wide conference for multidisciplinary professionals to connect on issues to improve the outcomes of young children. The goal is to address the needs of young children and their families from prevention to intervention. This conference allows time for a cross-sector collaboration to connect on the issues to deeply assess and respond to our communities’ most pressing needs.

What is the Focus?

The Institute will focus on improving professional practice by providing the latest information on effective, research-based interventions and quality early childhood programming for our most vulnerable children, ages birth to 5, and their families.  Targeted areas include impact of trauma on the developing child, young child development, advocating for young children, maximizing systems for young children, evidence-based practices for at-risk young children, and early education. Additionally, experts from Nebraska and across the country will be sharing related information through over 40 presentations and breakout sessions. 

Who Should Attend?

Judges, county attorneys, caseworkers, parents attorneys, Guardians ad litem, CASA's, EDN providers, Head Start personnel, school representatives, early childhood educators, Home Visitors, medical/health and mental health professionals, Foster Care Review Office, service providers and family members.

How often is the NYCI held?

NYCI is held every two years with 2016 as the inaugural year. In 2016, around 500 people attended, including the following notable speakers:

  • Dr. Matthew Blomstedt (Nebraska's Commissioner of Education)

  • Courtney Phillips (CEO of Nebraska's Department of Health and Human Services

  • Susanne Shore (First Lady of Nebraska)

  • Dr. Brenda Jones-Harden (Associate Professor at the University of Maryland College Park)

  • Dr. Samuel Meisels (Executive Director of NU's Buffet Early Childhood Institute)

  • Policy Panel moderated by Jen Goettemoeller of First Five Nebraska. This panel included:

    • Tom Casady (Lincoln Public Safety Director and Former Chief of Police)

    • Senator Galen Hadley (Speaker of the Nebraska Legislature)

    • Jessie Rasmussen (President of the Buffett Early Childhood Fund)

    • Doug Weinberg (Director of Nebraska DHHS-Children and Families Services)

    • Dr. Rachel Wise (President of the Nebraska State Board of Education)

Sessions and handouts from the 2016 NYCI can still be viewed Here.