Little Lopers!

Posted: March 7, 2017 12:00:00 AM CST

Early Childhood Education Center

Little Lopers will be gaining a new home in 2018! UNK is excited to announce a new building for the Early Childhood Education Center (ECEC). This facility will host 150 children between the ages of 6 weeks and 6 years old, which means UNK will be able to serve more children from faculty, staff, and students, along with community families.

Kids in daycare reading

Faculty across campus plan to incorporate the new facility into their course work and research. Expect to see UNK students from Education, Nursing, Speech Pathology, Family Studies, Counseling and many more interacting and observing. It’s an opportunity to collaborate, mentor, and just spend time with our youngest Lopers.

ECEC will be open arms to children of diversity, special needs, and all socio-economic groups; benefiting both young children and UNK students with a wide variety of experiences. This better prepares students for their work in the real world.

The following are comments from our COE Early Childhood faculty and the Director of the Center:

We know from over 50 years of research that:

  1. Children who receive high quality early childhood care and education are more prepared for formal schooling, more likely to attend college, and be successful in the workforce;
  2. Investments in high quality early childhood care and education provide communities a substantive financial and social return on investment.

Based on what we have learned about the transformative power of high quality early childhood programs, the expanded UNK Child Development Center will: 1) support university and community families and young children, 2) facilitate the learning and professional pursuits of UNK students and faculty, and 3) will elevate the well-being of the entire community.

What an exciting time for UNK and the Kearney community!

Kate Galligher
Endowed Early Childhood Chair

I am so excited to expand our program to a new facility specifically designed to promote our purpose of providing high quality care to children in the Kearney community. I am also excited that UNK students from various programs will be able to join us at the center to extend their learning with hands on experiences with the children!

JoAnna Cordova
UNK Child Development Center, Director

UNK’s Early Childhood Inclusive Endorsement program produces the highest number of graduates of any early childhood program in the state, and getting enough quality field placements for our college students is challenging.  The new Early Childhood Education Center will greatly increase the capacity of our students to work with young children and families while also making a difference in the development and learning of these children. The expansion from the UNK Child Development Center’s current capacity will further serve a critical need for faculty, staff, and students who would not otherwise be able to work or go to school at UNK without high quality care for their children, and the additional community slots will support families who are unable to find enough high quality care options in the community. Stronger communities will lead to a stronger Nebraska.

Dawn Mollenkopf
Associate Professor Early Childhood

The new Early Childhood Education Center will offer wonderful learning opportunities for our UNK Early Childhood Inclusive students. This is another step toward “making Nebraska the best place in the nation to be a baby

Chilene Black
Online Program Coordinator
Early Childhood Inclusive

The new UNK Early Childhood Education Center will provide UNK Early Childhood students with the opportunity to engage in high-quality, hands-on, practical learning experiences. What an incredible gift this new facility provides to young children, families and students. UNK has always provided it’s Early Childhood students with opportunities to engage in experiential learning but this facility will serve as a model program not only for our students, staff and their children but for all of rural Nebraska.

Paula Thompson
Assistant Professor Early Childhood

By: Sheryl Feinstein

Category: Education

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