Early Childhood Development

Rooted in Relationships

This initiative partners with communities to implement evidence-based practices that enhance the social-emotional development of children, birth through age 8. Their scope of work includes:

Click the logo to go to the Rooted In Relationships website for more information on the program.

  1. Community Work: Approximately 60 stakeholders connected with additional local partners to develop a long-range plan to support the social-emotional development of young children.
  2. Pyramid Model Implementation: Community Partners has recently hired 4 coaches to train 14 providers from both in-home and center-based early care and education settings in promoting the social, emotional, and behavioral competence of young children.
  3. Selection of a Systems Priority: After a year of planning, the Buffalo County Rooted in Relationships team is working to create public awareness for social emotional development for ages 0-8 in all Buffalo County Communities


  • Nebraska Children and Families Foundation
  • Center For Psychological Services
  • Kearney Public Schools
  • University of Nebraska at Kearney
  • Twin Rivers Public Health Department
  • Kearney Area Children’s Museum
  • Buffalo County Attorney
  • Department of Health and Human Services
  • ESU 10
  • Midwest Encouragement and Counseling Center
  • Head Start
  • Families CARE
  • Early Development Network

Second Step

The Second Step social emotional curriculum helps students strengthen their skills in the areas of emotion management, friendship, empathy, conflict resolution, bullying prevention, and substance abuse prevention. 



These numbers show how the Second Step program impacted children in the 2015-2016 school year.


By strengthening these life skills, the HealthyMINDS collaborative hopes to help children grow up in a peaceful, safe environment where they can flourish personally, work constructively with others, and reach their greatest potential.