Policy Resource

Sixpence: Nebraska Early Childhood Endowment Fund

Feb 9, 2016

In 2006, the Nebraska Legislature stepped up to the challenge of ensuring that more of Nebraska’s youngest, most vulnerable children would arrive at school ready to learn by establishing the Nebraska Early Childhood Education Endowment Grant Program.

The Endowment was built upon an innovative system of matching public-private investments that enabled each $1 private contribution to ultimately yield $6 in blended funds, hence the name Sixpence, from the beloved nursery rhyme. Earnings from the endowment are primarily granted to school districts and their community partners to provide high-quality center- and home-based programs for infants and toddlers most at risk of failure in school.

A governor-appointed Board of Trustees representing public and private sector interests awards the endowment’s investment earnings to community-based early learning partnerships through a competitive grant process. Nebraska Children and Families Foundation administers the grants and provides technical assistance to grantees to enable them to consistently meet the high standards of quality Sixpence demands. Sixpence programs regularly undergo a rigorous evaluation process by researchers at Munroe-Meyer Institute (UNMC) to measure child outcomes and ensure ongoing accountability for Nebraska’s public-private investment.

Encouraged by the success of Sixpence in improving children’s preparedness to learn and achieve in Nebraska schools, the state legislature approved additional Sixpence investments in 2013. For more information: http://www.singasongofsixpence.org

Updated November 2019

Explore More Nebraska Focused Resources & Initiatives