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Early Learning Indiana Will Provide Another Boost to Child Care Programs With Second Grant from Lilly Endowment Inc.

An expanded Come Back Stronger Fund will help sustain high-quality programs

INDIANAPOLIS (Dec. 17, 2020) – Early Learning Indiana announced today that another round of Come Back Stronger Fund grants will soon be made available to help sustain Indiana’s supply of high-quality early care and learning opportunities.  

Beginning in January, Early Learning Indiana will provide nearly $12 million in grants to child care programs statewide. The effort is made possible through the combination of a new $10.4 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to Early Learning Indiana and funds remaining from a previous Lilly Endowment grant made in May.  

Early Learning Indiana awarded $13.1 million in Come Back Stronger Fund grants earlier this year to 1,025 Indiana child care programs. More than 45,300 Hoosier children have continued to have access to safe, high-quality child care experiences amid the pandemic thanks in part to support from the fund. However, the pandemic still threatens the viability of Indiana early care programs.  

“Access to high-quality child care is critical to families, communities and our state’s ability to recover from the pandemic,” said Early Learning Indiana President and CEO Maureen Weber. “Our goal with this second round of funding is to continue helping our state’s highest-quality providers to ensure they’re here to serve families when the pandemic is over.” 

Early Learning Indiana expects to have made a total of $25 million in grants to Indiana’s early care and learning providers when the second round of the Come Back Stronger Fund comes to a close. 

Licensed and registered centers, ministries and family child care home providers in Indiana serving children ages 0-5 are eligible to apply for grants. Programs must be operating at Paths to QUALITYTM Level 3 or 4, or Level 2 with a demonstrated commitment to achieving higher quality. Grants will vary in size based on enrollment. Programs that serve a significant number of children from low-income families will be eligible for increased amounts. 

Grants will enable programs to continue enhanced sanitation practices, sustain staffing models that minimize risk of exposure to COVID-19 and refresh individualized materials and toys to limit cross-contamination among children, while maintaining an environment that stimulates child development. Allowable uses now also include efforts to combat learning loss, such as the cost of designing and implementing developmentally appropriate activities that will help children and families compensate for time spent outside of educational environments as a result of the pandemic.   

“Reliable, high-quality child care is essential for the healthy development of children and for Hoosiers working hard to provide for their families during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, and it will continue to be needed when the pandemic subsides,” said Ted Maple, Lilly Endowment’s vice president for education. “Lilly Endowment is pleased to support Early Learning Indiana’s efforts to help ensure that Indiana’s early childhood programs can continue to help children learn and families thrive now and in the future.” 

Early Learning Indiana is Indiana’s oldest and largest early childhood education nonprofit, providing leadership, advocacy and early childhood education services to continually improve the early learning landscape in Indiana. Today, Early Learning Indiana operates eight high-quality Day Early Learning centers, a network of premier community-based lab schools used to advance the science of early learning, train the next generation of teachers and leaders, and instill essential skills in the children we serve. Through regional and statewide programs, the organization enables early learning providers to build capacity, transform operations and improve learning outcomes. More information is available at

Lilly Endowment Inc. is a private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons Eli and J.K. Jr. through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. While those gifts remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, the Endowment is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion and maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.  



  1. thanks for your time and for your help we need your help to move forward.

  2. That will be great, our program still needs some equipment for the classrooms and the playground.

  3. My name is Donna Robinson
    I’ve been in childcare business for 37yrs
    I specialize in infant to 2.5 yrs
    I do infant school with them and prepare them for preschool
    I do not have PTQ but I feel I do as much as them if not more
    There is lots of us home providers that could use your help too
    It would be great for the help and recognize us as leaders for these children also

  4. I don’t think it’s right that people have to be level two or higher on past the quality to have this grant.

    • I totally agree. We are only able to stay afloat in our community by being in the basement of a church. It doesn’t allow us to go to level 2.

  5. At a time when childcare providers need help the most, you’re putting the stipulation of needing to be PTQ 2 or higher in order to receive the grant? In essence saying that a licensed home daycare is not high quality if they choose to stay at a level 1? I have been in business for over 16 years and have had parents who are very grateful for the quality care I provide to their children. This to me is disgraceful that such a stipulation would be put on this grant during this time when we are in a pandemic and enrollments are low for everyone, including PTQ level 1 daycares. I hope that this decision will be reconsidered since many home daycares are facing permanent closure due to the low enrollments that this pandemic has caused. This grant would provide great financial relief to all licensed daycares at this time, including level 1 daycares. Please reconsider changing this stipulation to include PTQ level 1 childcare programs as well, as we also provide quality childcare to families in our communities.

  6. Hi I have been a licensed home daycare provider for 10 years. I feel I’m just as important on Level 1 PTQ. As someone else on a higher Level. I had 12 children I’m down to 3. I’m just wondering what grants is out there for us providers on PTQ. Level 1? No one ever return calls to move up to another level. Thank you

  7. This would be very helpful! Please keep me in the loop !

  8. Necesito ayuda para comprar cosas para ayuda para mi daycare para mis niños como cosas de Limpiesa unas muebles extras para mantener el distanciamiento mesas y juego para afuera necesito tener cosas extras unas cunas también muebles para separar las áreas el play de afuera ya q no podemos salir al parque y sobre todo para limpieza y para mantener la persona q me ayuda.

  9. Gracias por su ayuda q siempre nos dan siempre más en estos tiempos difíciles amo mi trabajo mis niños y siempre e permanecido siempre abierta pallándo a cada padre q necesitan trabajar y ocupamos Apollo en materiales de limpieza y cosas extras para mantener el distanciamiento.

  10. Para comprar todo lo q necesito son 3 mil dólar para cubrir cosas importantes para los niños

  11. What paths do you need to be in order to apply for the grant,

  12. We would be appreciative and very grateful for an opportunity to apply for another Come Back Stronger Grant

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