November 2, 2023

State awards $8.7 million to add more than 1,500 child care seats in 18 counties

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Families in Indiana often don’t have access to quality child care and early-learning education.  - FILE PHOTO: Justin Hicks/IPB News

Families in Indiana often don’t have access to quality child care and early-learning education.

FILE PHOTO: Justin Hicks/IPB News

Families in Indiana often don’t have access to quality child care and early-learning education. The state’s Family and Social Services Administration recently announced grants to create new programs in underserved areas and expand existing programs for early learning.

The FSSA’s Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning awarded about $8.7 million in grants that will add more 1,500 child care seats in 18 counties.

This includes funding for 11 centers, four ministries, four homes and two public schools.

There were a total of 21 grants – with seven awarded to expand existing programs and 14 to create new programs in underserved areas of the state.

In a press release, OECOSL Director Courtney Penn said it is important to “expand availability” of early learning programs to “priority age groups” – which she said is often the hardest to find. She said the group refers to children 5 years old and younger.

 

 

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Penn said this funding will help already existing providers reach more children and families.

In addition to this funding, the FSSA recently announced their Employer-Sponsored Child Care Fund, which provides $25 million for employers to increase employer-subsidized child care benefits.

The grant funds come from the Senate Enrolled Act 2, which was passed in the Indiana General Assembly’s 2022 special legislative session.

Violet is our daily news reporter. Contact her at vcomberwilen@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @ComberWilen.

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