High quality child care is essential for the future of Wayne County. When our children are properly prepared for school, they are more likely to succeed! Many organizations across Indiana and beyond offer grants to help our child care providers continue doing what they do best. We are highlighting a few here:

Early Learning Indiana

Early Learning Indiana (ELI) has several grant opportunities for child care providers. The Early Years Initiative, funded by Lilly Endowment Inc., is the most recent opportunity.

This grant is designed to support organizations that serve infants and toddlers (ages 0-3) during their most important developmental years. Grant awards will range from $75,000 to $500,000 over three years, and the deadline to apply is June 15th. Two key highlights:

  • Grants must focus on new, enhanced or expanded programs and projects
  • Favor will be given to proposals that meet the needs of focus populations (low-income, communities of color, or multi-language learners)

Wayne County Foundation

While the Wayne County Foundation does not only grant to child care providers, any 501(c)3 nonprofit is eligible to apply for a grant! The Foundation offers three yearly grant cycles with awards up to $10,000. Grant Cycle II closes on June 2nd, with Grant Cycle III opening on August 2nd.

Many organizations across Wayne County are also working hard to improve early childhood education opportunities, even if they don’t provide grants!

Economic Development Corporation

The EDC of Wayne County is one such organization that is committed to improving early childhood education opportunities. In the Fall of 2022, the EDC of Wayne County and Forward Wayne County collaborated with the Purdue Center for Regional Development to develop and distribute a child care survey to adults working in Wayne County.

This survey asked working parents about child care needs, particularly as an employee benefit. The results showed that over half of the respondents have child care needs, or will need child care in the future. The EDC can use this data to help advocate for child care as a benefit with employers. This allows parents to work while knowing their child is receiving adequate care!

Regional Birth to Five Coalition

The East Central Indiana Talent Collaborative is comprised of nine Indiana counties, including Wayne County. One of the Collaborative’s main goals is Equitable Child Development and Education.

As a part of the READI 1.0 Grant, the ECITC, through the Regional Birth to Five Coalition, will utilize $1.5 million to strengthen the birth to five programs in East Central Indiana. Wayne County has several members of this coalition! Funding will provide training, resources, and advocacy for families. In addition to providing for families already in the area, it is the hope of the ECITC to attract young families to the area!

HELP (Hoosier Enduring Legacy Program)

The Hoosier Enduring Legacy Program (HELP) supports communities as they plan to spend their American Rescue Plan funds to build long-term capacity and develop attainable projects. To prioritize these projects, the HELP process is broken into four Pathways.

Of the four Pathways, Strengthening Local Economies and Promoting Community Wellness have a vested interest in promoting early childhood education and building child care options throughout the county. When children have the opportunities to grow and learn, our community is better for it! Providing early childhood learning opportunities creates a more well-rounded community and the foundation for a strong workforce.

Wrapping Up

Early childhood success is one of Forward Wayne County’s major focus areas. Visit our website to learn about our goals and what we’re doing to ensure that high-quality childcare is available for all in Wayne County!

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