$550K awarded to support childcare
16 Jan 2024
The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration’s Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning is awarding a combined total of $550,000 in employer-sponsored child care grants to two Hancock County school corporations.
Part of Gov. Holcomb’s 2023 Next Level Agenda, the initiative is mobilizing employers and communities to create or expand child care offerings that address the needs of working Hoosiers.
Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation was awarded $350,000 and the Community School Corporation of Southern Hancock County was awarded $200,000.
The awards are part of $18.1 million going to 64 businesses, community groups and school corporations, according to a news release from the State of Indiana.
“We wanted those who know first-hand the critical needs of their employees, and those who are best positioned to partner in their communities, to create child care solutions for their workforce, and they delivered,” Indiana Gov. Eric J. Holcomb said. “This effort harnesses the combined efforts of businesses, community groups, and schools that want to support working Hoosiers’ careers and our youngest learners across the state.”
Dr. Jack Parker, Superintendent of the Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation, said the corporation is delighted to receive a grant to help support their employee child care needs.
“Quality childcare can positively impact the lives of our employee families, and it is our aim to do everything we can to make raising a family just a little easier,” Parker said. “Mt. Vernon has a strong commitment to support our employees and provide rich benefits, including eight weeks paid maternity and paternity leave for the birth or adoption of a child. We are thankful to the Mt. Vernon Education Foundation for writing this grant, and we would love to partner with the foundation on this project.”
At Southern Hancock, grant funds will go toward supporting the school corporation's staff daycare, including staff salaries, food services and additional furnishings as the daycare continues to grow.
This round of awardees will receive 72% of available funding from the $25 million fund. Round two awardees – which will be announced in early 2024 – will receive the remaining funds.
“I look forward to seeing all the inventive approaches to child care come to life in communities across the state, and partnering with more businesses, community groups and schools on this important, collaborative effort to support children, their families and the state’s economy,” said Courtney Penn, OECOSL director. “Birth to age 5 are the most critical in a person’s life, and now more of our next generation will receive early education that is crucial to their brain and social development.”
The program, a partnership with the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, uses a portion of the state’s remaining federal relief funds from the COVID-19 pandemic and is part of the state’s broader efforts to strengthen the early care and education sector, providing support for today’s workforce and investing in tomorrow’s. The program is also supported by the Indiana Manufacturers Association.