FSSA announces next round of early childhood education grants

INDIANAPOLIS—Indiana’s Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning recently awarded early education capacity-building grants to 12 applicants representing 29 pre-kindergarten programs in 12 Indiana counties. The grants total more than $1.4 million and were awarded to early learning providers and county coalitions to help them serve more pre-k children and increase the quality of early education opportunities provided throughout Indiana.

“Increasing the number of high-quality early education programs in counties across the state is an intentional priority for the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration” said FSSA Secretary Jennifer Walthall, M.D., M.P.H. “Building capacity provides more options for Hoosier parents who want their child to have a competitive start to their education.”

All applicants were required to secure matching funds—between 5 and 50 percent of total budget—from local businesses or other stakeholders who will benefit from the community improvement associated with these capacity-building grants. The funding for these grants was appropriated in 2017 via House Enrolled Act 1004, which Governor Eric J. Holcomb signed into law as part of his 2017 Next Level Agenda.

The following applicants were awarded funds:


Capacity-building grants may be used for the following purposes:

  • Training and professional development of teaching staff
  • Classroom materials that demonstrate increased outcomes for children or increased instructional practices for educators
  • Evidence-based curriculum or instructional materials including professional development for teaching staff to utilize the curriculum
  • Family engagement activities or materials and/or marketing and communication materials
  • Other relevant needs to help expand capacity and/or improve quality programming to help programs reach Paths to QUALITY™ level 3 or 4, which is the requirement for a provider to be eligible to be an On My Way Pre-K provider

Grant awards are for one year with the option to request a no-cost extension if additional capacity-building activities remain that have not been completed after one year. Nonprofit applicants interested in receiving funding for items not allowable had the opportunity to apply for a limited pool of separate grant funding from Early Learning Indiana.

On My Way Pre-K is Indiana’s first state-funded prekindergarten grant program, which was established as a five-county pilot by the Indiana General Assembly in 2014. Currently, 20 Indiana counties including Allen, Bartholomew, DeKalb, Delaware, Elkhart, Floyd, Grant, Harrison, Howard, Jackson, Kosciusko, Lake, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Monroe, St. Joseph, Tippecanoe, Vanderburgh and Vigo, along with eight grandfathered agreement sites are eligible to accept On My Way Pre-K grants for low-income Hoosier children.

The Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning is a division of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration. Follow us on Twitter @FSSAIndiana.

Early Learning Indiana provides excellent care and education at its ten Day Early Learning centers; provides referrals to parents and training and other resources to child care providers and schools throughout Indiana; and is a leader, advocate and partner in advancing policies that transform Indiana’s early learning landscape for the better. Find Early Learning Indiana at www.earlylearningindiana.org, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/DayEarlyLearning and on Twitter @EarlyLearningIN.

About Brian Scott

I play on the radio from 7 am -1 pm weekdays on 98.9 FM WYRZ and WYRZ.org. Follow me on twitter @WYRZBrianScott or e-mail me at brian@wyrz.org.

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