Last Updated on
SOURCE: News release from Early Learning Indiana and Little Children’s Ministry
Logansport – Early Learning Indiana has awarded a $20,000 grant to Little Children’s Ministry as part of the $15 million Come Back Stronger Fund, supported by Lilly Endowment, to reinforce Indiana’s supply of high-quality early learning opportunities, especially for the state’s most vulnerable children. Little Children’s Ministry 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.
“The health and safety of our children, families and staff is our top priority,” said Little Children’s Ministry Director, Belinda Jordan. “In order for our community to come back stronger from the pandemic, high-quality child care is extremely important, and we’re committed to supporting families who need child care by providing a safe and educational environment.”
Because of social distancing and safety protocols, Little Children’s Ministry is investing in additional toys and educational items for the classrooms so that they may be rotated and disinfected regularly. The center will also be purchasing sanitizer for both entrances and additional cleaning supplies for each class and the janitorial staff. The grant from Early Learning Indiana and the Come Back Stronger Fund will help pay for these additional costs and provide the opportunity to create additional classrooms for children.
“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 Little Children’s Ministry’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.”
Early Learning Indiana awarded a total of $2,341,000 to 155 providers in this first round of grant awards. Little Children’s Ministry 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
Early child care organizations can still apply for a Come Back Stronger Fund grant at www.earlylearningin.org/comebackstronger.
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. More information is available at EarlyLearningIndiana.org.
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.