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Early Childhood Development

Early Childhood Education

Home » Services » Early Childhood Development » Early Childhood Education

Kids Doing CraftsResearch shows that the first five years of a child’s development are the most formative. This is why high-quality, reliable early childhood education is essential. It facilitates a child’s growth, today and for years to come, and it benefits everyone involved – providing infants and young children with the support they need to learn and giving parents and guardians vital peace of mind that their children are in a safe, caring environment.

Our Early Childhood Education program provides nurturing care in two state-of-the-art facilities: CSI at 4545 Dodge Street and the Spellman Child Development Center, managed by CSI, on the College of Saint Mary campus. Both locations embrace a community-driven approach for children ages six weeks to six years, ensuring families feel like they belong here.

Both centers participate in the Nebraska Step Up to Quality program, which holds centers to a high standard of care. You can learn more about the program here.

More than a daycare, our Early Childhood Education offers a thoughtful curriculum based the latest research on brain development and attachment. Our teachers are experienced, competent and passionate about their work, providing the support and encouragement children need to thrive.

Inquire Today for Pricing or to Schedule a Tour

Due to construction and renovations at the Dodge Street location, we are not able to accommodate tours at this time. The Spellman Child Development Center is ready and available for you and your family to tour!

Our Locations

CSI logo

CSI Early Childhood Education Center

4545 Dodge Street | Omaha, NE 68132 | Phone: 402.553.6000

Child Saving Institute’s Childhood Education Center is licensed for 120 children and located on the CSI campus.

Due to construction and renovations at the Dodge Street location, we are not able to accommodate tours at this time and are not currently enrolling students at the Dodge Street location only. The Spellman Child Development Center is ready and available for you and your family to tour!

Spellman logo

Spellman Child Development Center

6908 Mercy Rd | Omaha, NE 68106 | Phone: 402.390.2028

The Spellman Child Development Center, managed by Child Saving Institute, is a 10-classroom facility licensed for 140 children. The center is located on the College of Saint Mary campus in the heart of Omaha.

The Spellman Child Development Center is currently enrolling toddlers and preschoolers! Contact us today to set up a tour to come visit.

Details

(Both Locations)

Hours of Operation
Monday – Friday: 6:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Ages Served
Children ages 6 weeks to 6 years

Meals
Nutritious snacks, breakfast and lunch provided daily

Center Highlights
Our state-of-the-art center features one of the few nationally-certified “Nature Explore” classrooms in the country!

Enrichment Activities
Stretch-n-Grow programs including Fitness, Dance, Sports and Yoga

Program Leaders

Kathy Hubbard

Program Director

Email Kathy
402.504.3615

Kristen Gourneau

Site Director
Early Childhood Education Center
4545 Dodge Street Campus

Email Kristen
402.553.6000 x 169

Briana Lozano

Assistant Site Director
Early Childhood Education Center
4545 Dodge Street Campus

Email Briana
402.553.6000 x 818

Rebecca Welch

Site Director

Spellman Child Development Center
College of Saint Mary Campus
6908 Mercy Road

Email Rebecca
402.390.2028

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the educational goals of CSI's Early Childhood Education program?

Our goal is that children in our child care centers build a solid foundation for developing and maintaining future healthy relationships with others, as well as prepare them to be academically and socially ready for kindergarten.

  • Approaching life as an invitation to learn
  • Becoming a confident and competent lifelong learner
  • Developing emotional intelligence, personal power and social skills
  • Developing the social and cognitive skills necessary for school success

How will you assess my child’s development?

We use the scientifically-proven assessment tool, Teaching Strategies GOLD®, to observe and document your child’s progress every day and assess their learning and development over time. This includes documenting activities on a daily basis; taking notes about what we see and hear; collecting samples of your child’s drawings, artwork and writing attempts.

I'm not quite ready to enroll my child in child care but I am interested in continuing to hear about what is happening at the center. How can I get information?

If you are interested in learning more about what takes place in our centers, we encourage you to follow Child Saving Institute on Facebook and/or Instagram. We regularly highlight the fun and learning taking place in both CSI early childhood education centers.

Are all staff trained in CPR and First Aid?

Yes, all of the staff at both centers are trained and certified in CPR and First Aid.

How do I inquire about your tuition costs?

We highly encourage you to schedule a tour using the form below so that we can meet with you and discuss our tuition pricing. You are also welcome to contact us via the form below and we can provide additional details.

Due to construction and renovations at the Dodge Street location, we are not able to accommodate tours at this time and are not currently enrolling students at the Dodge Street location only. The Spellman Child Development Center is ready and available for you and your family to tour. We are currently enrolling for toddlers and preschoolers at the Spellman Child Development Center.

Do you have a waitlist? If so, how do I join it?

We’re glad you asked! The best way to be added to our waitlist is to contact us via the form below. Again, we encourage all those interested to first take a tour; however, please feel free contact us and we can discuss the process in more detail.

Due to construction and renovations at the Dodge Street location, we are not able to accommodate tours at this time and are not currently enrolling students at the Dodge Street location only. The Spellman Child Development Center is ready and available for you and your family to tour. We are currently enrolling for toddlers and preschoolers at the Spellman Child Development Center.

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Kathy Hubbard - Director of Early Childhood Education

Kathy Hubbard, BS

Program Director

Kathy oversees the Early Childhood Education program at CSI. Her journey into this role began during her time at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where she was drawn to work with children and give back to the community. After completing her bachelor’s degree in Child, Youth and Family Studies, she was excited to begin her career at CSI.

Kathy finds fulfillment in building relationships with children, families and her dedicated colleagues. Witnessing children's growth warms her heart, and she takes immense satisfaction in supporting her team members in reaching their full potential.

Kathy’s journey with CSI began in 2009 when she served as an early childhood support staff. Over the years, she has assumed various roles in the early childhood program. Through these diverse experiences, Kathy has not only grown professionally but has also forged strong connections with her colleagues and the families they serve.

Kathy is also passionate about advocating for change within the early childhood community. She actively participates in local initiatives and focus groups aimed at enhancing teacher training and development, supporting early childhood providers and programs, and improving the learning experiences of young children.

Beyond her professional life, Kathy cherishes family time. She has two sons, both of whom have spent time in the Early Childhood Education Center at CSI. When she's not with her family, you'll often find her engrossed in a good book or traveling.

Kathy Hubbard - Director of Early Childhood Education

Kathy Hubbard, BS

Program Director

Kathy oversees the Early Childhood Education program at CSI. Her journey into this role began during her time at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where she was drawn to work with children and give back to the community. After completing her bachelor’s degree in Child, Youth and Family Studies, she was excited to begin her career at CSI.

Kathy finds fulfillment in building relationships with children, families and her dedicated colleagues. Witnessing children's growth warms her heart, and she takes immense satisfaction in supporting her team members in reaching their full potential.

Kathy’s journey with CSI began in 2009 when she served as an early childhood support staff. Over the years, she has assumed various roles in the early childhood program. Through these diverse experiences, Kathy has not only grown professionally but has also forged strong connections with her colleagues and the families they serve.

Kathy is also passionate about advocating for change within the early childhood community. She actively participates in local initiatives and focus groups aimed at enhancing teacher training and development, supporting early childhood providers and programs, and improving the learning experiences of young children.

Beyond her professional life, Kathy cherishes family time. She has two sons, both of whom have spent time in the Early Childhood Education Center at CSI. When she's not with her family, you'll often find her engrossed in a good book or traveling.

Kristen Mruz - Site Director

Kristen Mruz

Site Director

Kristen Mruz, the dedicated Site Director of the Spellman Child Development Center, has been an integral CSI team member since 2021. Her journey in the field of early childhood education began when she earned a bachelor’s degree in early childhood development from Wayne State College. Following, Kristen served as an Assistant Childcare Director and preschool teacher for a remarkable five years. She then took on the role of Early Learning Center Director, accumulating invaluable experience before joining the CSI family.

Kristen is driven by an unwavering passion for working with children, a deep commitment to helping others and a talent for fostering meaningful relationships. Her extensive background in the nonprofit sector spans over a decade, where she has dedicated her time and efforts to various charitable causes. Throughout her academic journey and professional career, Kristen generously volunteered her time for youth activities and coaching, leaving a positive impact on the lives of countless young individuals.

Outside of her professional pursuits, Kristen finds immense joy in an active lifestyle. She relishes activities like running, volleyball and watching sports, all of which allow her to stay connected with the world around her. Additionally, she has a strong affinity for the outdoors and is an avid camper. Her enthusiasm for these pastimes is beautifully complemented by her love for quality family time, often engaging in these activities alongside her loved ones.

Briana Lozano - Assistant Site Director

Briana Lozano

Assistant Site Director

Briana is a dedicated professional with a profound commitment to CSI where she has contributed her expertise since 2020. Beginning her journey as a lead educator in one of CSI's classrooms, she quickly ascended the ranks, earning the esteemed position of Assistant Site Director at the 45th and Dodge location.

Briana is passionate and enthusiastic about her role. She takes pride in being a part of an organization that prioritizes quality and utilizes best practices, while also extending its reach to serve the entire family, offering a comprehensive range of services and resources. Briana's eyes light up when she discusses her favorite aspect of the job—witnessing the children's growth as they achieve significant developmental milestones. However, it's not just the children that bring her joy; it's the entire CSI community of dedicated team members who share a genuine concern for every family they support.

Briana's journey in the field of child care began in 2007. Her career has been a diverse in serving many different roles prior to her current position at CSI. Her passion for working with children was ignited during her high school years, when she had the opportunity to work at a daycare and intern at an elementary school. These experiences solidified her love for early childhood education.

Beyond her professional life, Briana is a well-rounded individual with a deep passion for community well-being. She has a long history of volunteering with community organizations, reflecting her dedication to making a positive impact beyond merely the workplace.

Kristen Ruzicka - Site Director

Kristen Gourneau

Site Director

Kristen, Site Director of Early Childhood Development at CSI, epitomizes dedication and passion in her career.

Her ascent within CSI has been remarkable. She started as an Early Childhood Lead Teacher in 2014, swiftly transitioning into the role of Early Childhood Senior Specialist in 2016. Recognized for her unwavering commitment, she earned a promotion to Assistant Site Director in 2019, and in 2021, she reached the pinnacle of her career as the center’s Site Director.

Kristen's enthusiasm for her role at CSI is infectious. She thrives in the collaborative environment, finding her greatest joy in daily interactions with the children and their boundless curiosity.

With a background in early childhood education across various Omaha centers, Kristen's experiences have forged her into the exceptional leader she is today. Her heart finds fulfillment in her work with families, children and her fellow teammates.

Her guiding principle is clear communication. Kristen believes that effective communication among staff, children and families is the cornerstone for success.

In her leisure time, Kristen enjoys the great outdoors with her fiancé and two boys, strengthening family ties while experiencing new adventures.