KEARNEY, NE -- Nebraska communities leaders are meeting in Kearney Monday to hear about early childhood education and its connection to economic development and community vitality.

That's the mission of the Thriving Children, Families and Communities Conference.  The event listing says this year's conference is in response to statewide calls for assistance.  It plans to offer an opportunity to share success stories, learn from each other, and develop action plans for implementing high-quality birth – Grade 3 care and education.

The event will feature keynote presentations, workshops on a range of practical issues, a luncheon panel discussion with community representatives from across the state, and networking opportunities.

The conference is from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Younes Conference Center in Kearney.  One of the event sponsors is the Buffett Early Childhood Institute.