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Early Learning Indiana to award up to $1M

Groups Must Submit Letter of Intent by September 13

On August 12, 2019, Early Learning Indiana announced a competition designed to address the fact that more than four of every 10 children in Indiana live in a child care desert. Local groups, from school systems to community coalitions, have the opportunity to apply for participation through September 13, 2019.

Early Learning Indiana President and CEO Maureen Weber first shared the Indiana Child Care Desert Competition to a group of more than 200 business, community and early childhood leaders, assembled at a breakfast panel discussion titled, “How We’re Failing Tomorrow’s Workforce.”

It features luminaries representing medicine, philanthropy, K-12 education, workforce development and social services, the event highlighted the pressing need to address lack of early childhood access in Indiana and took place on Thursday, August 8.

“For too many Hoosier children and families, high-quality early learning opportunities are out of reach, not just figuratively, but geographically,” Early Learning Indiana President and CEO Maureen Weber said. “We invite both early childhood veterans and newcomers to help us build a stronger network of opportunity to support both working parents and the next generation of the workforce.”

Child care deserts can be found in each of Indiana’s 92 counties, according to a 2018 study conducted by the Indiana Business Research Center and Early Learning Indiana. A child care desert is a neighborhood, town or part of a city where there is no more than one child care seat for every three children. In Indiana, 45.2% of children live in child care deserts.

For one of every 10 Hoosier children, that lack of child care is coupled with a high number of jobs in their community, a fact that puts many working parents in a very challenging position.

Early Learning Indiana is currently seeking letters of intent from organizations across the state. Strong applicants will then be asked to submit full applications, with up to 10 grants being awarded in December 2019. This work is made possible by a grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc. Additional information can be found at

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