(INDIANAPOLIS) – The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration today announced its Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning received nearly $7 million in federal grant funding to strengthen the state’s early childhood education system.
The grant supports strategic planning and a formal evaluation of Indiana’s birth-through-age-5 early childhood education programs.
The preschool development grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will help ensure early education is streamlined to best serve Hoosier families and meet Indiana’s workforce needs. Grant outcomes will help further inform and develop Gov. Holcomb’s Next Level agenda goal to expand On My Way Pre-K in 2021.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for Indiana to focus holistically on how to best develop our youngest Hoosiers in a way that propels them toward a successful future,” said Jennifer Walthall, M.D., M.P.H., secretary of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration. “We don’t often get the chance to unify our planning, and this funding allows us to do that.”
When funding is received, FSSA will lead a collaborative needs assessment, strategic planning process and evaluation of existing programs. Goals included in the grant application include improving the overall quality of early childhood education using best practices, assessing gaps in services for low-income Hoosiers and citizens in rural counties, and incentivizing communities to support high-quality programs including strengthening the available workforce of pre-K educators.
The award is a one-year grant with opportunities to apply for additional funding in subsequent years.