Early Learning Scholarships 

period ending March 31st, 2023 
" This project is made possible by funding received from the Nebraska Children and Families Foundation through the State of Nebraska Preschool Development Grant."   

Early Learning Scholarships (ELS) may be available to families who meet the following eligibility requirements:   

  • Children between the ages of 6 weeks – 6 years (Pre-Kindergarten).
  • Children enrolled on a full day/full year (full-time) basis or attending based on extended day needs, wrapping hours around a publicly funded program (i.e. Head Start, public preschool)
  • Parents must be either working or attending school.  Or caregiver is incapacitated and unable to work or attend school, yet unable to care for the wellbeing of the child.
  • Families must show a financial need and fall within the set income guidelines. Income must be at or below 250% of the Federal Poverty Guideline based on family size.      
Child Care Subsidy Application and Determination:  
  • Families who may be eligible for the Child Care Subsidy (CCS) through the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) must first make application to DHHS-CCS and if approved, use public funds prior to use of Early Learning Scholarship funds.
  • Current income levels are found on the DHHS website, http://dhhs.ne.gov/Documents/392-000200.pdf.  Income is not the only consideration and there may be circumstances that would enable the family to receive DHHS child care assistance, so making an application is an important step. 
  • Proof of denial of child care subsidy support is required by the Child Care Program when it appears the family would be within the income range of qualifying for such subsidy.     
To be considered for tuition assistance families must: 
  • Complete all sections of the Program’s tuition assistance application form.
  • Provide three most recent paystubs for each working adult in the household.
  • Submit a copy of child care subsidy determination letter.   

Tuition assistance is determined based on the family’s monthly gross income (income before taxes, insurance, and any other deductions are subtracted), which includes both earned income (e.g. wages, which must be verified by paystubs) and unearned income (e.g. child support, Social Security payments, Unemployment Insurance).  The family income is then compared to the total number of household. 

Additional Information: 
  • If there are two parents in the family, both parents must be participating in one of the activities listed above
  • Once a child of any age is awarded tuition assistance, they are eligible to continue to receive this assistance through September 30th, 2022, pending the availability of funding
  • Families must reapply in order to be eligible for another award period.
  • Tuition assistance may be cancelled earlier if the family is unresponsive to requests for updated activity or if funding should no longer become available.
  • Household members include all people living in the household, related or not (such as grandparents, other relatives, or friends) who share income and expenses.  The applicant must include themselves and all children who live with them.  Households do not include other people who are economically independent, such as a roommate.Programs may offer exceptions to these guidelines for tuition assistance due to unforeseen circumstances creating a severe hardship to the family. Exceptions must be documented.