Those BIG Little Years

Those BIG Little Years

Early Learning Indiana, with generous support from Lilly Endowment Inc., recently announced the first grantees of the Early Years Initiative grant program. Eighty-six organizations serving Indiana infants and toddlers have received more than $31M in grants of up to $500,000 each.  

Each awarded program will help Hoosier families support the cognitive, social-emotional and physical wellbeing of infants and toddlers. Studies show a child’s brain is hardest at work during the first three years of life, busy creating the foundation for all future learning capacity, social-emotional development, and mental and physical health. All 86 organizations will serve families in low-income households; 69% of grantees will serve members of communities of color; and 63% will serve multi-language learners.  

Grant Details

Early Years Initiative proposals must be designed to strengthen foundational learning and development, but can be as varied as the needs of the young children they are intended to serve.  Proposed programs or projects may include, among others, strengthening families through home visiting and parent education programs, ensuring access to supportive child care, supporting early detection of developmental needs or disabilities and implementation of responsive interventions, and promoting essential skills through early language strategies.  Applicants proposing programs or projects that serve a significant number of infants and toddlers who live in low-income households, are members of communities of color, or are multi-language learners will be viewed more favorably. 

Grants will span up to three years with awards ranging from $75,000 to $500,000.

Grants will focus on new, enhanced or expanded programs and projects.

Favor will be given to proposals that meet needs of focus populations.

Lead applicants must be nonprofits proposing to serve infants and toddlers in Indiana.

We were encouraged by the range of proposals received from community organizations that care deeply about ensuring infants and toddlers in their communities develop the foundational knowledge and skills that support their future learning and development. We only have a few short years to set our youngest Hoosiers on a path to thrive in life, and the work of these organizations across the state will enable us to make the most of these years while deepening our understanding about which efforts are most effective.