INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana’s Build, Learn, Grow scholarship program is extending assistance to pay for a portion of before- or after-school care or early childhood education for qualified families through March of 2022.
Scholarships cover up to 80% of a child’s early care and education, summer learning or before- and after-school care, ensuring families can connect to the care and education children need. More than 40,000 scholarships are still available for children – from birth through age 12 – who have a family member who works in an essential industry. Families with at least one adult working in an essential business are encouraged to apply, regardless of their income. The amount of assistance provided will be based on the family’s income. Learn more at Families.BuildLearnGrow.org.
“As children return to school, before- and after-school care and education becomes just as important to parents as child care and early childhood education,” said Nicole Norvell, director of the Indiana Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning. “Even if parents continue to work from home, their children may benefit from the structure, teaching and socialization that early care and out-of-school programs provide.”
For families to qualify for Build, Learn, Grow scholarships, an adult in the household must work in an essential business (examples include health care, human services, retail, restaurant and food service, essential infrastructure, media, manufacturing and logistics, religious and charitable organizations and many others). For qualifying families with household incomes up to 250% of the federal poverty level, Build, Learn, Grow scholarship will cover 80% of their cost. Families with incomes between 251% and 400% of the federal poverty level will qualify for 60% of costs covered and those with incomes at 401% of the federal poverty level and above will qualify for 20% of costs covered. A scholarship level chart can be found here.
Families should complete the Build, Learn, Grow Scholarship Fund application found here and submit it to their early care and education provider. Families not currently connected to an early care and education program will be able to find a list of participating programs on the Build, Learn, Grow website also on the eligibility page. All providers who currently accept federal child care assistance are encouraged to enroll. Currently more than 1,700 child care and out-of-school providers are enrolled throughout Indiana.
The scholarships will be funded by more than $101 million provided to Indiana by the federal Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, or CRRSA.
To administer the Build, Learn, Grow scholarship program, the Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning has partnered with Early Learning Indiana and Indiana Afterschool Network, the state’s leading organizations supporting early care and education and out-of-school-time programs.
Early care and education and out-of-school-time programs interested in receiving children with Build, Learn, Grow scholarships can learn more at Providers.BuildLearnGrow.org.
About the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act
The CRRSA Act appropriated $10 billion in supplemental child care funds, providing states, territories, and tribes participating in the federal Child Care Development Fund the opportunity and resources necessary to respond to the unprecedented challenges faced by children, families, and child care providers during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency. The law expands flexibility to provide child care assistance to families and children, supports child care providers, and provides lead agencies such as FSSA with additional funds to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19. CRRSA Act funds are supplemental discretionary CCDF funds. CCDF is the primary federal funding source for child care subsidies to help eligible working families with low incomes access child care and improve the supply and quality of child care for all children.
About the Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning
The Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning is a division of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration. The office oversees early child care, education and out-of-school-time programs.