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Early Childhood
Community Center

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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.



The Inspiration

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.

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The Model

  • 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

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