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Nebraska Early Development Network
Nebraska Department of Education
Experience tells us that one agency cannot provide all services needed by young children with disabilities and their families. The Early Development Network (EDN) is unique among other states. By design, the program enjoys the co-leadership of two state agencies, the Nebraska Department of Education and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. Assistance and advice is provided by The Early Childhood Interagency Coordination Council, which is statewide. Early intervention is a term used to identify the program for infants and toddlers birth to age three. Nebraska use to call the program early intervention but after some research, changed the name to Early Development Network in 2000. Babies Can't Wait is the Early Development's tag line. Research tell us that a child's brain development occurs most rapidly during the first three years of life. Babies Can't Wait is a call to action, to make sure that babies are screened early to identify any area's of development that may be behind and so that intervention can begin as soon as possible. Special education, is found in the school systems. Did you know that Nebraska has been providing special education services to children from the date of diagnosis since 1978 when Nebraska passed L.B. 889? Nebraska is called a "birth mandate state" and because of this, eligible infants and toddlers in the Early Development Network, recieve a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). So why is this important? It means that there is no cost to the family for special education and related services. There are currently 5 birth mandate states. Michigan, Iowa, Nebraska, Maryland, and Minnesota. The Planning Region Teams across the state are responsible for assisting in the planning and implementation of the EDN in each local community or region. The program is supported by federal and state funds, and by other local and private agencies in Nebraska. Family-centered services are best planned through a collaboration between the family and professionals. EDN recognizes that the family is the constant in their child's life, and that services provided to the family should enhance the development and dignity of their child.