Early Childhood Education


We believe that children are active learners who learn best from activities that they plan and carry out themselves. We believe teaching must build upon the thoughts and actions of children. Children must have daily opportunities to decide what they want to do. Certain key experiences are essential to children’s early intellectual growth. The early childhood staff’s job is to help children incorporate the processes of predicting, observing, describing, explaining, manipulating, hypothesizing and finding alternatives into their work.

Program Staff
The programs include 6 Preschool Teachers (Early Childhood Special Education Specialists); 4 ESU #9 Paraprofessionals; 14 Paraprofessionals/bus monitors hired by school districts and Head Start; and additional staff including Speech & Language Pathologists, Communication Assistants, transportation, lunchroom staff, and other specialists as appropriate. The program supervisor is Joe Haney.

Programs Available:

Preschool Services (3 and 4 year-olds)

Community-based Preschool Programs are available for ALL preschool-age children.

  • These preschool programs meet the standards of excellence created by NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children). NAEYC Accredited programs maintain the highest level of performance for early childhood education and care.
  • Some children who attend preschool receive Special Education Services, others qualify for Head Start Services, and other children attend as Private Pay Preschoolers. A sliding fee scale is available.
  • Location includes:
    • Webster County Early Learning Center located at the Silver Lake Elementary School.

Home Based Services

Early Childhood Special Education Services cover children from the date of diagnosis. Children below age 3 are usually served in the home or childcare center/provider.

Transportation Services

Area schools contract with ESU 9 for transportation of students to preschool programs. ESU currently employs two bus drivers who transport students over 100,000 miles per year.

Transportation Links:
School Bus Fleet
National Association for Pupil Transportation
Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles
Nebraska Health and Human Services Nebraska Safe Kids Campaign


Early Development Network

NDE Early Childhood

NDE Early Childhood Special Education

Nebraska’s Early Childhood Training Center

Rule 11 (PDF)


PS-01 (PDF)

PS-02 (PDF)