Early Learning Indiana among finalists for challenge at Harvard

Photo courtesy of Early Learning Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS (Inside INdiana Business) — A nonprofit for early-childhood education, Early Learning Indiana is a finalist for its 2019 Zaentz Early Education Initiative Innovation Challenge, the Harvard Graduate School of Education has announced

Leaders of the nonprofit, which also operates child care centers, will travel to Harvard in Boston in October to pitch their idea on staffing challenges facing early child care centers nationwide.

Early Learning Indiana will go against 14 other finalists for funding in front of a panel of judges and a live audience. The challenge aims to recognize promising new ideas and approaches that could benefit early education.

“For early learning providers working with razor-thin margins and no room for error in meeting ratio requirements, staffing poses a perennial challenge,” said Maureen Weber, chief executive officer of Early Learning Indiana. “We’ve proposed a first-to-market digital staffing application, inspired by successful models in other industries, like Uber, AirBNB and OpenShift, to offer a centralized resource or “float” pool that providers can access on demand. This application is positioned to build short-term and part-time workforce capacity, while also offering unusual suspects the chance to enter the early childhood education field. We are thrilled to be named a finalist and excited about the opportunities this innovation could create for child care providers across the country.”