Early Childhood Education

Kids Can is proud to offer comprehensive early childhood education and care for children ages 18-months to 5-years-old.  We have classrooms split into three age groups and offer care Monday through Friday from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM.   Click ahead for more information on Toddler care and Preschool/Pre-K programs.  

Kids Can is a state-licensed childcare, Child Care Subsidy (Title XX) payments accepted. You may download rate information here.

Step Up To Quality

Step Up to Quality is a program through the Nebraska Department of Education and Health & Human Services that helps families identify early childhood providers who demonstrate a commitment to quality care. Step Up to Quality programs go beyond what is required because they strive to do better for their children’s and families’ futures. The type of child care you choose for your child can have a big impact on their future. Early learning builds the foundation for skills needed in school, work and life, with 90 percent of brain development occurring before age 5.

Step Up to Quality is not a typical rating system — it’s a path. Whether a child care provider is at Step 1 or Step 5, they are making a statement: that they want to be the best they can be for the benefit of their children and families.  Programs are rated based on meeting quality standards, which are described in the next section.

  • Step 5 – Far exceeds quality standards << Kids Can is at Step 5
  • Step 4 – Exceeds quality standards 
  • Step 3 – Meets quality standards
  • Step 2 – Approaching quality standards
  • Step 1 – Committed to quality improvement

You can learn more about Step Up To Quality, including a listing of participating childcare centers, by clicking this link.


Meet our Early Childhood Admin Staff


Ms. Jill  has been working with children for over 20 years and has led the program as the Early Childhood Site Director at Kids Can for the past two years.  Ms. Jill has her Master’s Degree in Education with an Emphasis in Early Childhood.  She enjoys assisting staff with curriculum and special events with the goal that all children will succeed in a positive, nurturing environment. 


Ms. Amanda has been working with children for 14 years and joined the Kids Can team two years ago.  She has assisted with the school age program and currently serves as the Early Childhood Assistant Director.  She  is currently working on her Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood and earned her CDA (Child Development Associate) in 2018.  Ms. Amanda enjoys working with children because she believes the first 5 years of a child’s life are extremely important and she makes a difference by building relationships with children and their families.



Meet our Toddler Room Staff

Ms. Maricela has worked in child care for over two years and began her employment with Kids Can at Gilder’s afterschool program. She joined the early childhood program last year and is currently working on her CDA (Child Associates Certificate).  Ms. Maricela provides a nurturing , patient environment in which toddlers thrive.

Ms. Alexis has worked with children for  5 years and has been employed at Kids Can for over three years.  Ms. Alexis has spent several years making a positive impact on school-age children, and joined the early childhood program in hopes to continue to add value to the lives of the young people she serves.  Ms. Alexis has a bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.  

Meet our Preschool Room Staff

Ms. Nancy has worked in child care for over six years and has been employed at Kids Can for the past three years.  She holds a CDA (Child Development Associate) and is currently working on her Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood. She enjoys this field because she loves being a role model for young children and being a part of their developmental milestones. 

Mr. Cody has worked with children for six years. Mr. Cody has a bachelor's degree for in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from the University of Northern Iowa, and he earned his CDA (Child Development Associate) in 2018. Mr. Cody enjoys seeing children’s imaginations grow!

Meet Our PreK Room Staff


Ms. Shea has worked in child care for over 12 years and began her employment with Kids Can 10 years ago.  Ms. Shea has an Associate’s Degree in Applied Science and Human Services and a CDA (Child Development Associate).  Ms. Shea enjoys watching children grow and helping them reach their full potential. 


Ms. Belen has been working with children for over six years.  Ms. Belen is currently working on her CDA (Child Development Associate credential.)  Ms. Belen loves watching children grow and they always put a smile on her face and make her laugh. 



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