Indiana launches Build, Learn, Grow initiative to help working families connect to early care and education
On Monday, May 3, the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration announced the Build, Learn, Grow initiative, which is making 50,000 scholarships available to help connect Hoosier children from working families to high-quality early education and out-of-school-time programs.
The scholarships will be funded by more than $101 million provided to Indiana by the federal Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, or CRRSA.
Through the Build, Learn, Grow scholarship fund, Hoosier families working in essential industries with qualifying incomes can receive scholarships for each child age 12 and younger toward their early care and education, summer learning or out-of-school care. Scholarships run from May through October 2021 and will cover 80% of the early care and education program’s tuition. Information is available at www.BuildLearnGrow.org.
“Access to high-quality early care and education is essential to Hoosier families and children,” said Jennifer Sullivan, M.D., M.P.H., FSSA secretary. “These scholarships will help connect hard-working Hoosier families and their children to programs that prepare them for success in school, help reverse learning loss and provide additional support to the families who kept us going during the pandemic.”
For families to qualify for Build, Learn, Grow scholarships, an adult in the household must work in an essential business (examples include health care, human services, retail, restaurant and food service, essential infrastructure, media, manufacturing and logistics, religious and charitable organizations and many others) and meet income eligibility guidelines as outlined here. Families will qualify for The Build, Learn, Grow scholarship with incomes of up to 250% of the federal poverty level. For a family of four, that equates to an annual income of about $66,000. Qualifying families should complete the Build, Learn, Grow Scholarship Fund application found here and submit it to their early care and education provider. Families not currently connected to an early care and education program will be able to find a list of participating programs on the Build, Learn, Grow website as they enroll and become qualified. All providers who currently accept federal child care assistance are encouraged to enroll.
To administer the Build, Learn, Grow scholarship program, the Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning has partnered with Early Learning Indiana and Indiana Afterschool Network, the state’s leading organizations supporting early care and education and out-of-school-time programs.
Early care and education and out-of-school-time programs interested in receiving children with Build, Learn, Grow scholarships can learn more at www.BuildLearnGrow.org.
About the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act
The CRRSA Act appropriated $10 billion in supplemental child care funds, providing states, territories, and tribes participating in the federal Child Care Development Fund the opportunity and resources necessary to respond to the unprecedented challenges faced by children, families, and child care providers during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency. The law expands flexibility to provide child care assistance to families and children, supports child care providers, and provides lead agencies such as FSSA with additional funds to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19. CRRSA Act funds are supplemental discretionary CCDF funds. CCDF is the primary federal funding source for child care subsidies to help eligible working families with low incomes access child care and improve the supply and quality of child care for all children.
About the Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning
The Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning is a division of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration. The office oversees early child care, education and out-of-school-time programs.
The vision of the Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning is that every Indiana community will have a strong network of Early Care and Education and Out-of-School Time programs that support the child, the family and local schools. Programs will be high quality, affordable and accessible to enable families to work effectively to obtain economic self-sufficiency. Children will thrive in programs that meet their developmental and educational needs and make them feel welcome, encouraged and supported. Professionals teaching and caring for children will have the resources, including training and education, needed to operate and maintain high quality programs.