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Early Learning Indiana announces $15M childcare fund

(photo courtesy of Early Learning Indiana)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) – Indianapolis-based Early Learning Indiana is launching the Come Back Stronger Fund to help support health and safety-related expenses for the early learning providers. With the support of a $15.7 million grant from Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment Inc., the nonprofit will offer grants to help offset expenses incurred by Indiana providers amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The nonprofit says the fund is designed to reinforce Indiana’s supply of high-quality early learning opportunities. Early Learning Indiana will make grants available in varying amounts dependent upon the provider’s number of children served.

“In the best of times, early learning providers operate on razor-thin margins due to the imbalance between the cost of providing care and families’ ability to afford it,” said Early Learning Indiana Chief Executive Officer Maureen Weber. “As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the path forward is even more precarious with added safety-related expenses and uncertainty around enrollment and staffing. This funding will help providers make necessary operational changes to deliver safe and high-quality early learning services that are critical for Hoosier families and the state’s economic recovery.”

The nonprofit says the fund will help early learning providers implement new health and safety measures. Measures include enhancing sanitation practices, altering key aspects of the physical environment to support social distancing, adopting new staffing models that minimize exposure, and expanding to serve more children in response to a depletion in community supply, among others.

In addition to grant funding, Early Learning Indiana says it will provide technical assistance to Indiana childcare providers and help them develop strategies to continue offering high-quality early care and education programming during the pandemic.

The nonprofit says guidelines and application instructions will be available on Tuesday.

You can find more information by clicking here.