Early Childhood

Making the program available to more children was a priority for Gov. Eric Holcomb this year.
Providers hope the stress of maintaining safety protocols to keep the virus at bay will ease.
Manual is no longer just a high school. Day Early Learning has converted administrative offices and an auditorium into child care rooms to serve Indy’s south side.
A long-term study of On My Way Pre-K in Indiana found that the academic benefits didn’t fade, as some other programs have seen.
Kosciusko County was 2,000 child care seats short in 2018. The county and Wawasee Schools worked together to add more.
Child care report rates access, quality, and choices for Indiana counties
Indiana is leveraging federal stimulus funds to offer more vouchers for low-income families to send children to pre-K and child care.
Because Indiana families have a lot of choices for where to go for preschool, providers are tackling the challenge of at-home learning in different ways.
Indiana’s On My Way Pre-K is in its fifth year of a measured launch, in stark contrast to the rapid expansion of K-12 vouchers.
Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb had pledged to serve 500 more families through On My Way Pre-K this year, while keeping the annual pre-K budget at $22 million.
For all of its importance, kindergarten is still not required in Indiana.
Hundreds of 3-year-olds in Indianapolis will no longer qualify for preschool funding now that the city is ending its scholarship initiative.
In pre-K, children are at the peak of brain development.
Should Indiana worry about research on long-term results to justify an expansion, or should it stay focused on getting children ready for kindergarten?
Whether your 3- or 4-year-old attends prekindergarten — and how good the experience is — can often largely depend on where you live and how much money you make.
Children in Indiana don’t have to go to kindergarten, and it’s only been in recent years that the state has placed more value on this early childhood experience.
A handful of Indiana charter schools have looked to creative partnerships in order to provide pre-K programs.
It’s a key expansion of what had been a limited pilot program only available in 20 counties -- but lawmakers aren’t increasing funding for pre-K.
NIEER’s 2018 “State of Preschool” report lists Indiana as one of just six states that does not fund a preschool program, deeming On My Way Pre-K to be child care.
Expanding On My Way Pre-K has been slower than hoped, Indiana officials said, in part due to the challenge of introducing the new program in rural counties.
Indiana’s plan for the federal Preschool Development Grant would cost about $14 million, with about $4 million coming from matching state dollars.
Extra resources for preschool and teacher raises are among the areas competing for next year’s state budget funds.
These “child care deserts” can limit families’ access to early childhood programs during a critical time in children’s development.
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