Early Childhood Education

Why Omaha Public Schools Early Childhood Education?
The Omaha Public Schools believes in an inclusive approach to learning. All children are assisted in reaching their highest potential by actively engaging in authentic learning experiences in a school environment. There are various program models that currently serve nearly 2,400 children in 130 classrooms. Our inclusive services are provided through several programs, but all operate under the Omaha Public Schools “Umbrella of Early Childhood Education”.

Mission of Early Childhood Education
The Omaha Public Schools Early Childhood Program prepares young children for success in school and life by providing:
· Quality learning experiences in inclusive environments
· Support in developing social/emotional and academic skills
· Opportunities to empower families in the education of their young children

Our Philosophy of Early Childhood Education
The Early Childhood program in the Omaha Public Schools is based on the belief that every child is diverse and uniquely gifted with the capacity to learn. The OPS program capitalizes on the natural curiosity of children by designing meaningful learning experiences to promote language, literacy, cognitive, physical and social/emotional development, in a safe and secure environment. Instruction is designed to accommodate a broad range of children’s individual needs, learning styles, experiences and interests. Classroom learning will include independent learning, small and large group learning and experiential learning. The purpose of the Omaha Public Schools Early Childhood program is to provide educational opportunities, which enable all students to achieve their potential and develop a love of learning.



Due to inclement weather some of the Early Childhood Application days have been cancelled. Families are able to apply for any school locations at any of the application events. Please attend any one of these other scheduled dates to apply. If you have any questions, you may contact the Early Childhood Office at 531.299.0303.

Due to inclement weather the Early Childhood Application event scheduled at Belvedere on Wednesday, February 20 was cancelled.  Families are able to apply for any of our school locations at any application event.  Please attend one of these other dates to apply.  Below is a list of application dates at locations that are near Belvedere.

TAC – March 20 @ 5-7pm
Fontenelle - March 25 @1-3pm (call for an appointment @ 402.457.5905)
Sherman - March 27 @ 1-3pm
Hartman - March 28 @ 9:15-11:45am
Skinner - March 28 @ 1-3pm
TAC – March 30 @ 9am-12pm

Pinewood - April 1 @ 9:30-11:30am & 12:30-2:30pm (call for an appointment @ 402.561.6000)


Enrollment into OPS Early Childhood Programs for the 2019-2020 School Year

Omaha Public Schools offers a wide range of quality Early Childhood Programs.  If you have a child who will be three or four years old on or before July 31, 2019, we invite you to apply for an Early Childhood Program.  Application days begin on February 4, 2019 and continue through April 4, 2019.  You will need to bring your child to be screened, along with the following documents: the child’s original birth certificate, the child’s current immunization record, proof of address in the parent/legal guardian’s name (OPPD, MUD, Cox or Century Link bill, letter from Nebraska Health & Human Services or lease/purchase agreement) and proof of all 2018 family income (TANF/ADC, SSI letter, Child Support, 1098, 1099, 1040, 8453, all 2018 W-2’s, 12 months of check stubs, and/or letter from employer).  The parent/Legal guardian must be present to complete the application. Please note: Our preschool program is funded by state and federal grants that require us to select students based on a number of factors. Applying for our program, does not guarantee that your child will be enrolled for the 2019/2020 school year.  Additional information is available on the OPS Website (www.district.ops.org ) or by calling the Early Childhood Office at 531-299-0303.

Click to access schedule of Application Events.

Julie Hoogestraat

Title:  Early Childhood Supervisor
Phone:  (531) 299-9694

Michelle Jareske

Title:  Early Childhood Supervisor
Phone:  (531) 299-9693

Cindy Rasmussen

Title:  Head Start Supervisor
Phone:  (531) 299-9683

Barbara Burton

Title:  Lead Data Technician
Phone:  (531) 299-9685

Dairen Estrada

Title:  Receptionist
Phone:  (531) 299-9687

Darcy Linn

Title:  Head Start Lead Teacher
Phone:  (531) 299- 9692

Robin Jefferson

Title:  Secretary
Phone:  (531) 299-9688

Ruth Ryberg

Title:  Family & Community Engagement Manager
Phone:  (531) 299-9690

Felicia Tweedy

Title:  Early Childhood Special Education Supervisor
Phone:  (531) 299-9519

Carrie Baden

Title:  Early Childhood Special Education Lead Teacher
Phone:  (531) 299-9698

Jason Woods

Title:  Special Education Data Technician
Phone:  (531) 299-9527







Welcome to Early Childhood Education