Sixpence represents a statewide commitment to improving the school readiness and life outcomes of infants and toddlers, especially those most vulnerable to risk factors affecting early neural development and skill formation. It funds high-quality early care and learning programs designed to address the specific needs of local children and families, whether they live in the major metropolitan centers of eastern Nebraska, or the rural communities of the state's Panhandle.
Sixpence serves families facing circumstances and risk factors known to radically change children's prospects for school readiness and lifelong success.
Eligibility for Sixpence-Funded Services
While every child in Nebraska deserves the opportunity to succeed in school and beyond, Sixpence focuses its investments on infants and toddlers subject to particular risk factors known to affect kindergarten readiness and academic achievement. Unsurprisingly, most risk factors affecting the early learning and development represent challenges experienced at the family level that can undermine parents' effectiveness as educators, caregivers, and providers.
Sixpence-funded programs serve children who face an array of developmental risks far beyond those that determine eligibility for services. These liabilities include:
- socially isolated families
- food insecurity
- unstable households
- parents with limited understanding of children's developmental needs
The majority of infants and toddlers participating in Sixpence programs are subject to multiple, simultaneous developmental hazards with cumulative effects on their early neural development and skill formation.
Even a single risk factor can affect children's school preparedness and prospects for long-term success. Multiple, concurrent risk factors can lead to rapidly compounding threats to healthy brain architecture, skill formation, social competency, and lifelong emotional and physiological health.
No single intervention can address all of the circumstances and hazards known to undermine the optimal development of infants and toddlers. But Sixpence shows how strengthening the skills and supports of parents and early care and education professionals can change children's life trajectories and trigger long-term benefits felt at the individual and societal levels.
Sixpence lessens risks by equipping parents and early childhood professionals to become more effective, responsive caregivers and educators during their children's critical first three years and beyond.
Becoming a Grant Recipient
New grants are awarded as funding becomes available to support additional grantees. Sixpence will post a request for proposals on this website when new funding sources are available. If you have questions, please contact Stephanie Renn.