'On My Way Pre-K' Grants Available

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Nearly $500,000 in grants are available for early childhood education providers involved in the state's "On My Way Pre-K" pilot program. The funding can be used for classroom and facility improvements, supplies and professional development initiatives. January 20, 2015

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Indiana's Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning (OECOSL) is partnering with Early Learning Indiana to offer nearly $500,000 in grants to early learning providers to help support the successful implementation of Indiana's first publicly-funded pre-kindergarten pilot program, On My Way Pre-K.

These grants will help expand the capacity and quality of On My Way Pre-K programs in the five pilot counties of Allen, Jackson, Lake, Marion, and Vanderburgh while also expanding family choices for high quality pre-kindergarten education opportunities.

"The strong demand among Hoosier families for the first, limited enrollment of On May Way Pre-K, which began this month, reinforces for us how important it is to ensure the availability of high-quality prekindergarten programs in our pilot counties," said OECOSL Director Melanie Brizzi. "We are extremely grateful to Early Learning Indiana who generously contributed private dollars to our state funds, to help ensure that sufficient high-quality pre-K programs are available to meet the needs of interested families when On My Way Pre-K is rolled out this fall. Our partners have been a key element in successfully implementing this important program, and we thank them for all they’ve done."

"Early Learning Indiana is committed to helping pre-K providers across Indiana improve quality and we're very happy to be supporting, through a grant from the Lilly Endowment, these On My Way Pre-K grants," added Ted Maple, president and CEO, Early Learning Indiana.

Grant applications are due February 15, 2015, and are available at www.OnMyWayPreK.org.

Any licensed child care center, unlicensed registered child care ministry, public school, charter school or private school program with one of the five pilot counties that is participating or agrees to participate in the On My Way Pre-K Pilot program is eligible to apply for a grant. Priority will be given to applicants located in high-need areas without an adequate capacity of pre-K programs.

Funding may be used for purchasing minor construction materials/equipment (i.e. child-sized toilets, sinks, washable tiles, hot water valves, etc.) to furnish a new classroom, classroom supplies, curriculum and teaching strategies, professional development of staff, materials and supports to implement family engagement and involvement activities and other relevant needs to help expand capacity and improve quality programming, and help programs reach Paths to QUALITY level 3 or 4 , if applicable.

The total amount that will be available is nearly $500,000, with the following anticipated breakdown of grant amounts:

-Eight grants available up to $30,000

-15 grants available up to $10,000

-14 grants available up to $5,000

On My Way Pre-K is the name of Indiana's first state-funded prekindergarten program, which was established as a five-county pilot by the Indiana General Assembly in 2014. In addition to Allen, Lake, Marion and Vanderburgh Counties, which are currently making a program available for about 450 children, Jackson County will join the others and be fully-operational by the fall of 2015. The pilot program is expected to ultimately serve approximately 2,000 students in the five counties.

The Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning is a division of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA). Follow us in Twitter @FSSAIndiana.

Early Learning Indiana provides excellent care and education at its ten Day Early Learning centers; provides referrals to parents and training and other resources to child care providers and schools throughout Indiana; and is a leader, advocate and partner in advancing policies that transform Indiana’s early learning landscape for the better. Find Early Learning Indiana at www.earlylearningindiana.org, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/DayEarlyLearning and on Twitter @EarlyLearningIN.

Source: The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration