Indiana State University Newsroom

Indiana State University Early Childhood Education Center receives $20,000 grant from Early Learning Indiana

June 9, 2020

Indiana State University Early Childhood Education Center was awarded a $20,000 grant by Early Learning Indiana as part of the $15 million Come Back Stronger Fund, supported by Lilly Endowment.

The fund aims to reinforce Indiana’s supply of high-quality early learning opportunities for the state’s most vulnerable children. ISU ECEC will use the grant funds to support safety-related expenses and challenges as it continues to serve families in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We appreciate Lilly’s commitment to early childhood education in Indiana,” said Janet Buckenmeyer, Dean of the ISU Bayh College of Education. “The pandemic created unique circumstances for operating early childhood centers, and addressing the health of all is important to the goal of providing safe, educational opportunities for our youngest and their caregivers.”

ECEC Director Holly Curtsinger said, “We recognize that this is an extremely difficult time for many families. We are committed to providing the highest quality early learning experiences in the safest environment possible while helping our families navigate the challenges they are facing.”

Early Learning Indiana is an early childhood education nonprofit providing leadership, advocacy, and early childhood education services to continually improve the early learning landscape in Indiana. It awarded a total of $2,341,000 to 155 providers during the first round of grant awards. ISU ECEC was required to submit a narrative on how it would use the grant funds and serve children from vulnerable populations, as well as meet the following criteria:

--Be a licensed and registered center, ministry or family child care home provider in Indiana in good standing

--Be an approved CCDF or On My Way Pre-K provider or a provider that otherwise serves children from vulnerable family populations, defined as households at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level

--Operate as a Paths to QUALITY™ Level 3 or 4, or as a Paths to QUALITY™ Level 2 with a demonstrated commitment to achieving a higher level of program quality

--Serve children ages 0-5

“The pandemic has shone a light on the critical role early care and education providers play in our society,” said Early Learning Indiana President and CEO Maureen Weber. “Families need quality child care in order to go back to work, and children need safe and engaging environments to grow and learn. We’re grateful to ISU’s commitment to providing high-quality child care, and we’re excited to see what they and the other 154 providers do with their Come Back Stronger Fund grants.”