SENCA | Southeast Nebraska Community Action

Investing in Our Neighbors through Education and Partnerships to Improve Lives and Build Strong Communities in Southeast Nebraska.

Community Action Partnership

Investing in Our Neighbors through Education and Partnerships to Improve Lives and Build Strong Communities in Southeast Nebraska.

Youth Education


Head Start


SENCA Head Start is a comprehensive child development program which serves children from age 3 to 5 & their families.  Head Start is a child-focused program & has the overall goal of increasing school readiness of young children in low-income families.  The program involves the entire family through the four cornerstones of Head Start.  These cornerstones include:

  • Child Development
  • Family Partnerships
  • Community PartnershipsHS
  • Staff Development

SENCA Head Start provides a multitude of opportunities for children & families that have a direct impact on their future success.  Comprehensive child development, school readiness, & family support are provided through center-based options.  Services are provided at SENCA Head Start operated facilities & local public preschool programs located within the public school systems.

SENCA Head Start works closely with community partners to build relationships that better serve children, families, & the communities.  Head Start staff receive intensive professional development services & meet high standards of qualification to ensure the best services & opportunities available.


Head Start was launched nationally in 1965.  SENCA began administering the Head Start program in 1968 as a six-week summer program in Johnson and Pawnee Counties.  Two years later an additional 18 children in Richardson County and 18 children in Nemaha County received preschool services through a full year program.  The program expanded into Otoe County in 1984.  The program has seen many changes and enhancements over the past 50 plus years.  Here are just a few of the highlights:

1968 – Head Start begins as a 6-week summer program in Johnson and Pawnee Counties.

1970 – Head Start expands into Nemaha and Richardson Counties as a full year program.

1984 – Head Start expands into Otoe County.

2001 – Head Start facility in Falls City is dedicated as the Betty Lippold Center.

2004 – Head Start pilots a Youth Mentoring Program.

2008 – Head Start facility in Table Rock is dedicated as the Lisa Jo Schaardt Center.

2018 – Head Start centers in Auburn, Nebraska City, and Table Rock moved to full day operations.

2020 – Head Start enrollment slots at HTRS moved to full day operations.

More details about SENCA Head Start’s history can be found in the SENCA story.

Today, SENCA Head Start provides comprehensive preschool services to 151 children throughout Nemaha, Otoe, Pawnee, and Richardson Counties in southeast Nebraska.