All credit for this article goes to the North Bend Eagle
Reporter | Mary Le Arneal
North Bend Eagle
All children in Nebraska are entitled to educational benefits from birth to age 21. Nicole Bose work with the youngest ones as a services coordinator with the Early Development Network out of Educational Service Unit 2 in Fremont. She works with children age birth to 3 years old who have developmental delays or a medical diagnosis that would benefit from outside services.
Bose, a 2009 graduate of North Bend Central, graduated from Wayne State College with a degree in human services counseling. She worked at the Department of Health and Human Services before coming to EDN in August 2018.
“The Early Development Network services are voluntary and free,” Bose said. “We support parents and other caregivers of children on ways to help their child learn during everyday activities.”
Research shows that the first three years are the most important time for learning in a child’s life. Early intervention, providing developmental supports and services early improves a child’s ability to develop and learn. The help may prevent or decrease the need for special help later. The goal of early intervention in Nebraska is to “open a window of opportunity” for families to help their children with special needs develop to their full potential.
“As a services coordinator, I provide families with support and resources,” Bose said. “Typically when I go into homes I am checking in with families to see how services are going and to see if they need any other supports. I work with a team of early intervention providers that support families in meeting their child’s goals. The role of the provider is to coach parents in working with their child to best meet the goals they have set.”
EDN services are designed “to meet the developmental needs of an infant or toddler with a disability and the needs of the family to assist appropriately in the infant’s or toddler’s development” as outlined in state law.
The EDN provides services coordination, occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech-language therapy, vision services, audiology services, and early childhood teacher. For children age birth-3 years, all services are provided at the home year around. If services are still needed once the child turns 3, they would be eligible to receive services through an Individualized Education Plan.
Parents, school or medical personnel may refer a child to EDN. To see if a child is eligible for services, call 402-727-4130 or by make an online referral at ESU2.org.
ESU2 Early Development Network provides services to families that reside in North Bend school district and 15 other school districts from Wisner-Pilger to Ashland-Greenwood. Bose covers the North Bend, Cedar Bluffs, Wahoo, Mead, Yutan and Oakland-Craig school districts.
Bose says the personal aspect of the job is what she likes most.
“I love seeing the progress that each child has from the time we begin services to the time that they transition to an Individualized Education Plan or no longer need services,” she said. “I also love getting to know the families and being there to support them in any way that they need.”
Bose said that the EDN is still accepting new referrals during the COVID-19 pandemic
“Services will look different during this time as we are not able to go into family homes,” Bose said. “Currently we are meeting with families virtually with tele-conferencing or over the phone.”