Early Childhood Success

Wayne County Early Childhood Success Scorecard

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Early Childhood Success includes a focus on parenting education and quality preschool and child care. Parenting education and high-quality early childhood education are critical to success in school and research shows a focus on Early Childhood Success can help close the achievement gap.

Why is this focus so critical? In Wayne County, of the roughly 2,988 children who need care, only 597 receive high-quality care.  Forward Wayne County has the opportunity to guide local efforts aimed at increasing access to high-quality family and child education. When children are ready to learn and succeed in school they increase their chance to compete in the local economy and help build a thriving Wayne County.

Forward Wayne County’s Early Childhood Coalition was formed to track and pursue opportunities and resources for parenting education, preschool, and child care. This coalition is chaired by Pat Heiny and Nancy Green. Their hard work is helping to ensure Wayne County parents have access to high-quality daycare and preschool options.

Here are some of the ways Forward Wayne County’s Early Childhood Coalition has been supporting our local communities:

  • Developing and distributing educational materials to over 1,000 local families and organizations throughout the county. Early Learning Indiana awarded the Early Childhood Coalition $25,000 to kick-off this endeavor.
  • Giving 45 more children access to preschool. We partnered with Northeastern Wayne Schools Corporation, Oak Park Learning Academy, and Richmond Community Schools and applied for and obtained a $206,000 award from Indiana Office of Early Childhood and Out of School Learning. This funding will allow 45 more children to go to preschool.
  • Learning how to effectively advocate for children. Our coalition was named one of only two state sites for a Leadership Advocacy and Communication Workshop. We hosted 29 East Central Indiana professionals who learned to advocate for children.
  • Improving Kindergarten transition. “Without the right supports, children struggle to manage new expectations and the uncertainty of a new environment. Intentional programs that encourage family engagement and strengthen the connection between pre-K and K-12 are linked to academic gains, with the greatest gains made by children who experience social and economic risks.” Source. We were awarded a $25,000 grant to improve this process for Wayne County’s youngest learners.
  • Conquering Wayne County’s Child Care Desert. Wayne County has many areas considered Child Care Deserts – regions with no or few quality child-care facilities. Sugar Creek Foods and the Richmond Family YMCA have partnered to create Western Wayne Child Care facility to meet the needs of Sugar Creek employees.


“In early childhood you may lay the foundation of poverty or riches, industry of idleness, good or evil, by the habits to which you train your children. Teach them right habits then, and their future life is safe.”
– Lydia Sigourney