Indiana’s Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning today announced that $10 million in funding is available to childcare 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 childcare 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 childcare 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 childcare 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 childcare 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.
This expansion grant helps to build upon FSSA’s recent work to help stabilize and grow childcare in Indiana to support childcare providers and build available childcare capacity.
• Providing $542 million in stabilization grants in 2021 and 2022 to more than 3,300 childcare 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 childcare and early learning teaching positions from 2021 to 2022.
• Assembling a working group of childcare 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 childcare.