A Growing Experience: Why a Child’s First Three Years are Crucial to Future Success
Consider the cherry. It’s sweet, versatile, and shiny. Cherry trees can survive for hundreds of years, yet brilliantly blossom only once each season before falling to the ground. The Midwest has ideal conditions for growing cherries; an early frost can help fortify the trees.
No matter what the climate, Nebraska Children and Families Foundation believes, like a cherry tree, that the work we do will impact generations to come. To create this positive change, we need to address problems early on in a child’s life.
Much like the cherry blossom, a child’s early years are fleeting yet essential. From birth through three is the time to make an impact. We can help toddlers and infants thrive by preventing problems before they start.
Although life and the weather are ever-changing, quality childcare and education are a constant need. To do this, we need Early Childhood initiatives like Sixpence Child Care Partnerships (Sixpence CCP). Early care and education professionals have a short but crucial time to help young lives bloom. We and Sixpence CCP can help.
How Do We Grow Sixpence Child Care Partnerships?
Our watering can symbol represents Nebraska Children tending to initiatives to ensure they remain healthy and rooted like a cherry tree. During children’s early years, the relationships that they form with caregivers and friends pave the way for their future. Sixpence CCP, one of our early childhood programs, supports vulnerable infants and toddlers so they can lead a thriving life. Sixpence utilizes Federal Child Care Development Funds to promote high-quality early childhood development and education.
Sixpence launched in 2006 when large state organizations and private philanthropy sectors coalesced to produce a public and private endowment. Sixpence’s objective is to deliver ongoing funds for school districts to administer or collaborate with early childhood in-home or center-based programs.
A governor-appointed Board of Trustees works on behalf of the public and private sector’s interests. By way of a selective grant process, the Board awards the endowment’s investment earnings and appropriated state and federal funds to community-based early learning partnerships. Nebraska Children oversees the grant’s operations and maximizes these programs’ and centers’ quality.
How Does Her Garden Grow? Cherry Park Creative Corner’s Shannon Crosby Shares Her Sixpence CCP Experience
Speaking of cherries, today we spoke with Shannon Crosby, the director of Cherry Park Creative Corner, LLC. You can tell Shannon’s dedication to quality care was always in full bloom. She remained open during the height of the pandemic. When the children in her care expressed confusion or sadness about what was going on, Shannon and her staff comforted them. When we knew very little about the virus, she and her staff also ensured that everyone remain calm and on top of current information.
Grand Island, NE – Hall County
1. Which Step Up to Quality Step are you on?
We are currently on Step 2 getting ready to be rated soon for our next rating.*
Sixpence CCP program has supported us by setting up baseline observations and going through the scoring in detail. This helped us understand the areas that we needed to work on. Sixpence CCP helped us get the information and the resources that we need to improve our infant and toddler rooms. Sixpence CCP has been easy to work with, helping us to set our own goals and offering support making sure we can achieve them confidently on our own.
2. What have you liked about the program?
We like working with Sixpence CCP because of the flexibility and allowing us to move at our own pace to achieve the goals we set as a center.
3. What are the benefits of working with Sixpence CCP?
The benefits have been huge! We have been able to get some amazing resources for our infant and toddler rooms.