Child Care Expansion Grants applications now open to early education providers

$10 million in funds available to help expand high quality early education in Indiana

                                          

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana’s Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning today announced that $10 million in funding is available to child care and early education providers to expand access to high-quality early education for Hoosier families.

“This Child Care Expansion Grant provides a great opportunity for child care providers who are looking to grow their businesses and serve more children and families, particularly in underserved areas of Indiana, or to expand availability to priority age groups where care is often hardest to find,” said Courtney Penn, director of FSSA’s Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning. "The first five years of a child’s life are the most significant to build a strong foundation for future success. We welcome the opportunity to partner with providers to serve hard-working Hoosier families." 

The funds for this program are made possible through Senate Enrolled Act 2 from the 2022 Indiana General Assembly special session, as well as funding from the federal American Rescue Plan Act.

The grant will be competitive with funding offered across two tracks:   

  • Existing program expansion: Up to $200,000 per program to assist providers who accept child care assistance in updating existing facilities and operations with priority given to high-quality providers and those adding capacity or serving underserved age groups, such as infants and toddlers
  • New program creation: Up to $750,000 per program to assist providers in establishing new child care programs in underserved areas of the state
    • An applicant must be the intended operator of the new program, provide data to demonstrate a need for new child care in the community and must contribute at least ten percent of the total project budget, either in cash, loan funding or through in-kind donations or contributions.

Applications are open now through May 12. An overview of the grant opportunity, including supporting resources and a link to the application, is available here.  

This expansion grant helps to build upon FSSA’s recent work to help stabilize and grow child care in Indiana to support child care providers and build available child care capacity. This includes:

  • Providing $542 million in stabilization grants in 2021 and 2022 to more than 3,300 child care providers to help them rebuild after the instability caused by the pandemic.
    • These investments directly strengthened the workforce, leading to a 29% decrease in vacant child care and early learning teaching positions from 2021 to 2022.
  • Assembling a working group of child care professionals to review current licensing rules and regulations and make recommendations to remove barriers that make licensing more burdensome than necessary.
  • Analyzing the data received during the stabilization grant process to help reevaluate reimbursement rates to providers, to make them more in-line with the actual cost of child care.

The Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning is a division of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration. Child care providers may send questions to oecoslproviderinquiry@fssa.in.gov.

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