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Early Childhood

Early Childhood

Douglas County has an active and involved stakeholders group, the Douglas County Early Childhood Planning Coalition, or DCECPC that has created and implemented an Early Childhood Plan for the county that is working.  Through this plan, there is excellent coordination among early childhood providers including active community-based safety nets and coordination of visits among various home visit providers. 

Click here for data on Douglas County's young children -
        Planning Data for ages 0-8yrs.

In 1993 the National Educational Goals Panel reported that nearly half of our infants and toddlers start life at a disadvantage and do not have the supports necessary to grow and thrive. A significant number of children under three confront one or more major risk factors:

         Inadequate prenatal care. Nearly a quarter of all pregnant women in America, many of whom are adolescents, receive little or no prenatal care. Many of these pregnancies are unintended: the United States has one of the highest rates of unintended pregnancy in the industrialized world. The risk of delivering a low birth-weight baby with physical, behavioral, or intellectual difficulties is greater when a pregnancy is unplanned or when a woman does not receive adequate prenatal care.

         Isolated parents. More divorces, more single-parent families, and less familial and community support have made parents feel more isolated than ever before in raising their young children.

         Substandard child care. More than half of all mothers return to the workforce within a year of the baby's birth; many of their infants and toddlers spend thirty-five or more hours per week in substandard child care.

         Poverty. A quarter of families with children under age three live in poverty. The large majority of these families are headed by one parent, usually the mother. These families often live in unsafe neighborhoods and have poor access to quality child care, health services, or family support programs.

         Insufficient attention. Only half of infants and toddlers are routinely read to by their parents, and many parents give insufficient attention to their children's intellectual development. Teachers report that one in three American kindergartners arrives in school unprepared to learn.

Starting Points
Meeting the Needs of Our Youngest Children
Carnegie Corporation of New York