Early Childhood Education

The Early Childhood Program provides a safe and nurturing learning environment focused on the whole child.

Our youngest students thrive through engaging, high quality learning experiences. We partner with families as a child’s first teacher, and develop relationships with our community to deliver services early.


Contact Us

Andy DeFreece
Director of Elementary and Early Childhood Education

Mendy Dickey
Secretary for Title I/Preschool

Dr. Amanda Hunt
Coordinator of Early Childhood

Jean Savage
Secretary for Early Childhood and Elementary Special Education

Cheris Kite
Facilitator for Early Childhood and K-5 Literacy Intervention

Developmental Screenings and Early Intervention, Birth to 3 Years Old

Do you have questions or concerns about your child’s development?  We offer free developmental screenings and or evaluations. Our early childhood development specialists may recommend an evaluation for your child's skills.  The screening or evaluation will help determine if there is a delay in your child's skills and if early childhood special education may be appropriate.  Please select here to fill out the Early Childhood Referral Form or contact Jean Savage at jasavage@mpsomaha.org or 402.715.8302.



Early Development Network - Services Coordination


Home Visiting, Birth to 3 Years Old

Some children may qualify for our home visiting program. This program is committed to improving the school readiness and life outcomes of infants and toddlers, especially those most vulnerable to risk factors affecting early brain development and skill formation. Home visits focus on young children who experience particular risk factors known to affect kindergarten readiness and academic achievement. For more information or to see if you or someone you know may qualify for home visiting, call 402.715.8339. Millard is grateful to the Sixpence Early Learning Fund and the Superintendent’s Early Childhood Plan for their financial support of these programs.

Early Childhood Evaluations, Ages 3 to 5 Years Old

Do you have questions or concerns about your child’s development?  We offer free developmental screenings and or evaluations. The screening or evaluation will help determine if there is a delay in your child's skills and if early childhood special education may be appropriate.  Please select here to fill out the Early Childhood Referral Form or contact Jean Savage at jasavage@mpsomaha.org or 402.715.8302.

Traditional Preschool

Millard Preschools offer both half day and full day options for children younger than kindergarten age. Preschool age is defined by the Nebraska Department of Education as children who have not reached the age of five on or before July 31st of the current school year.

Our preschools provide learning experiences that help young children get ready for kindergarten. The curriculum reflects the Nebraska Early Learning Guidelines and Millard's preschool standards and indicators. It aligns with our elementary program to provide a seamless transition to school. Ongoing formative assessment and collaborative planning support the diverse developmental, academic, cultural, and family needs of our students. The preschool schedule includes whole group, small group, and independent learning opportunities. One-third of the time is spent in individual choice interest areas that allow children to explore and expand their learning through play.  These different structures are provided to support social-emotional, physical, cognitive and language development.  Early literacy experiences focus on oral language, basic concepts, vocabulary, phonemic awareness, phonics, and listening comprehension. Early mathematics experiences focus on number sense, problem-solving, and basic concepts in the areas of geometry/spatial sense, measurement, reasoning, patterns/relationships, and using data. Additional learning opportunities include dramatic play, block play, writing, math, art, music and movement, science and discovery, library exploration, technology, fine motor, and outdoor playtime.

The child’s home and school are their two most important worlds. Our goal is to ensure that we recognize and support parents as the child’s first teacher. We welcome families and partner with them. Regularly scheduled family engagement activities and parent education opportunities are an important component of our preschool program.  

Please note, families must submit the application by a deadline of February 15th. You must reside within the Millard Public School District boundaries in order to apply for the Traditional Preschool Program.  If you live outside of the Millard Public School District boundaries, please contact your home district for early childhood services. 


Montessori Preschool

Montessori Early Childhood (Ages 3-6)

The Montessori program is an option that provides an environment consistent with Dr. Maria Montessori's philosophy in which children learn through spontaneous and prescribed activities based on developmental needs as they become self-directed. Millard Public Schools has preschool through grade 5 at two elementary buildings and grades 6-8 at one middle school.

Program Philosophy

Dr. Maria Montessori believed that the role of education is to create a learning laboratory where the individual is allowed to continue the developmental process, a process begun at conception. This process assists the individual to grow up with a healthy spirit, a strong character and a clear intellect, realizing the interdependence with all of life. The elements of the educational process include the following:

  • Methodology is based on movement, activity and habits of work and order.
  • The child is guided, moving from simple to complex and concrete to abstract concepts for perceptual and conceptual proficiency.
  • The child learns to become inner-directed or self-directed rather than "other-directed".
  • There is intrinsic concern for rhythm, balance, and order, which make the life process possible and provides continuity in nature and the universe.

Program Overview

  • Each Montessori classroom is multi-aged. Preprimary is ages 3-6 or preschool and kindergarten.
  • The classroom environment is designed to facilitate maximum independent learning and exploration by the child.
  • The curriculum is interdisciplinary and interactive.
  • Concepts are taught using materials that encourage exploration, independence and analytical thinking.
  • Lessons are given individually as children are ready for the skill or concept.
  • Drama and art are integrated into the prepared environment.

Please note, families living in the Millard School district must submit the application by February 15th, 2024.  Families living outside of the Millard School district must apply before March 15, 2024.

Advisory Committees

Two committees advise Millard Public Schools Early Childhood.

Early Childhood Advisory Committee

Millard Public Schools, along with community partners vested in early childhood education, meet periodically to work collaboratively for ways to best serve all young children and families in the district and maximize all available resources for the community's use.  Meetings are open for anyone to attend. For more information on the Early Childhood Advisory Committee, or if you are interested in joining the committee, please contact Cheris Kite at cakite@mpsomaha.org or 402-715-1431.

  • October 26, 2023 (Zoom) - Agenda & Minutes

  • February 22, 2024 (Ron Witt Support Services Center) - Agenda & Minutes

  • May 2, 2024 (Zoom) - Agenda & Minutes


Planning Region 21

Planning Region 21 is a group of parents and community professionals representing Millard Public Schools and our families. The group is responsible for assisting in the planning and implementation of Early Intervention Services. The purpose of the Planning team is to assist in the planning and development of family-centered, community-based services for all children, with emphasis on those with disabilities, birth to age five.

We welcome those who are interested in attending a meeting or joining Planning Region 21. Please contact Amanda Hunt at alhunt@mpsomaha.org or 402-715-8302 for additional information.


Past Years' Meeting Dates

Planning Region 21 Members

  • Ellen Bennett - Nebraska Respite Network
  • Kim Bolan -Education/CoChair
  • Erin Bovick - Parent of a child with special needs
  • April Carter - Early Learning Connection PD Assistant Coordinator
  • Allison Domsch - Services Coordinator
  • Jennifer Haggart - Early Learning Connection
  • Amanda Hunt - Education/Chair
  • Kim Jipp - Services Coordinator
  • Shaista Kiran - Parent of a child with special needs
  • Cheris Kite - EC Curriculum Facilitator
  • Christa Kreft - CRCC - SW Site Director of Operations
  • Sarah Lahman - Kidvanced
  • Denise Larson - Education
  • Christine McKinney - Services Coordinator
  • Lisa Meyer - Curr Dir/Comm Liaison - Imagination Station
  • Mandy Meyer - Parent of a child with special needs
  • Becky Morton - Early Learning Connections
  • Ashley Nielsen - Parent of a child with special needs
  • Sara Reiff - Services Coordinator
  • Nicole Vogel - Services Coordinator
  • Linda Walters - MPS Home Visitor
  • Brittney White - Services Coordinator


Grants and Resources

Planning Region Grant Opportunities

If you are a parent of a child with special needs and plan to attend a conference or workshop on topics associated with helping your child, you may be eligible for a grant.  Each year, funds are set aside to help families be able to attend conferences without having to worry about the cost. Grants are not based on financial need. Please contact Kim Bolan or 402-715-1140 for more information.

If you are a childcare provider located in the Millard Public Schools district, grant opportunities may be available to you when attending training/conferences provided by the Nebraska Early Learning Network. Required trainings such as CPR, First Aid, Safe Sleep, etc do not qualify. Please contact Kim Bolan or 402-715-1140 to see if you are eligible to receive a grant to help with funding.


These resources may assist parents and caregivers. Focused on children with disabilities, the links below connect to local, regional and national websites to help you locate information about your child’s diagnosis or condition, identify strategies to help you advocate for your child, and develop community connections for resources and support.

Nebraska Early Learning Guidelines, Birth through age 5 (2018):

Nebraska Early Development Network

Down Syndrome Alliance of the Midlands

Nebraska Department of Education: Rule 51

Nebraska Department of Education: Rule 52

Nebraska Life Span Respite Network  

NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children)

First Five Nebraska 

Guide to Baby and Childproofing   

Behavior Bites             

Lifespan Respite Subsidy Application

Early Development Network - Services Coordination


Our Partnerships

Millard thanks our partner organizations for making our Early Childhood Program such a rich and rewarding experience for our youngest students! We are proud to partner with you.

Buffett Early Childhood Institute

Omaha Children's Museum

Omaha Public Library


Early Connections Learning Centers

Sixpence Early Learning Fund

Staff Resources