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Fund Supporting Indiana Child Care Providers Will Close Aug. 14

With over $12.2 million awarded to 937 Indiana child care providers since May, Early Learning Indiana today announced the deadline to apply for funding from the Come Back Stronger Fund will be Friday, Aug. 14.

Since it launched with support from Lilly Endowment Inc. in May, the Come Back Stronger Fund has reached providers in 79 Indiana counties, reinforcing more than 41,867 high-quality early learning seats for children. The counties with the highest reinforcement rates are Union, Brown, Vanderburgh, Monroe and Delaware. View a map of awarded providers here.

“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. “Our state’s high-quality providers are critical to the economic recovery of our state, especially for vulnerable family populations, and many of these providers are still working to re-open and scale up their operations. Grants from the Come Back Stronger Fund are helping them with safety-related expenses and capacity-building efforts.”

With approximately $2.7 million still remaining in the fund, data show many eligible providers still have yet to apply, leaving several Indiana counties’ high-quality child care supply at risk. The counties with no applications include Lagrange, White, Carroll, Miami, Wabash, Shelby, Greene, Washington and Switzerland. View these providers here.

To be eligible for grant funding, providers must be:

• Licensed and registered centers, ministries or family child care home providers in Indiana in good standing

• An approved Child Care and Development Fund (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

• Operating 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

• Serving children ages 0-5

Grant awards are of varying amounts up to $40,000 based on providers’ enrollment and the percentage of children they serve who receive CCDF or On My Way Pre-K assistance from the state of Indiana. Early child care organizations can learn more about the Come Back Stronger Fund and apply at

Early Learning Indiana is Indiana’s oldest and largest early childhood education nonprofit, providing leadership, advocacy, and early childhood education services to continually improve the early learning landscape in Indiana. Today, Early Learning Indiana operates nine high-quality Day Early Learning centers, a network of premier community-based lab schools used to advance the science of early learning, train the next generation of teachers and leaders, and instill essential skills in the children we serve. Through regional and statewide programs, the organization enables early learning providers to build capacity, transform operations, and improve learning outcomes. Moreinformation is available at

Lilly Endowment Inc. is a private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons Eli and J.K. Jr. through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. While those gifts remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, the Endowment is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion and maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana. More information is available at