In April of 2021, the USD 497 Board of Education made the difficult decision to close Kennedy Elementary to future K-5 students which started a conversation about repurposing the building as an early childhood community center.
Since June of 2021, a workgroup of Douglas County early childhood community stakeholders has been gathering input, researching evidence-based models and developing timelines for the creation of a new approach to better serve children from 0-5 years of age, their families and their caregivers.
This collaborative community effort could not come at a more promising time. The complex social, economic and health issues faced by families with young children today cannot be addressed by any one organization or program. It requires a broad, well-informed community response and investment.
A trauma-informed, family-centered, multigenerational
Early Childhood Care and Education Mixed-Delivery System
where community services and supports wrap around the entire family to meet their needs.
A Family Resource Center that wraps around the entire family to make sure basic needs are met
An Early Childhood Professional Support Network to recruit, support and retain early childhood professionals
Child Care and Education to increase the number of accessible, affordable and available high-quality child care and education slots in Douglas County
A Family Friendly Workplace initiative to promote and support Family Friendly Workplace policies and practices in all employment sectors