INDIANAPOLIS - Indianapolis-based Early Learning Indiana has awarded nearly $170,000 in grants to eight ministry-based programs throughout the state. The organizations will use the funding for physical and program improvements to advance on the state's child care quality rating and improvement systems.

The recipients include:

• God’s Little Blessings Early Learning Center at the Calvary Baptist Church; Connersville; $25,000 to expand its fire alarm system, to remodel and expand its infant room, and to create a new preschool room

• Kids First Child Care Ministry at the First United Methodist Church; Decatur; $23,000 to purchase new curriculum and to add a separate play area for infants and toddlers

• Little Angels Daycare at Seymour’s Apostolic Pentecostal Tabernacle; $25,800 to remodel an existing restroom and to construct a separate outdoor play area for infants and toddlers

• St. Peter Lutheran Church and School; North Judson; $3,340 to purchase new classroom materials and to support ongoing training of staff, as well as to cover the costs of background checks for newly hired program staff

• Saint Therese Catholic School; Fort Wayne; $14,050 to install a playground fence and anti-scald valves on hand washing sinks, to purchase new curriculum, and to cover the cost of background checks for new hires and ongoing professional development opportunities for existing staff

• St. John Catholic Preschool, located at Goshen’s St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church; $23,000 to install a new bathroom and windows, as well as for new classroom materials

• St. Johns Day Care Ministry, located at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Lanesville; $28,600 to install a playground fence, add a hand-washing sink in its toddler room, and improve lighting. Funds will also be used to purchase classroom materials and to cover the cost of background checks for newly hired program staff

• The Little Children’s Ministry at Logansport’s First United Church; $26,000 to add a new restroom and to renovate existing restrooms to make them more accessible to children

Early Learning Indiana says it has awarded more than $2 million in grants since 2015.