Governor Eric J. Holcomb announced Thursday the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration’s Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning is awarding $18.1 million in employer-sponsored childcare grants to 64 businesses, community groups and school corporations. The initiative, part of Gov. Holcomb’s 2023 Next Level Agenda, is mobilizing employers and communities to create or expand childcare offerings that address the needs of working Hoosiers. Two companies in Marshall County and one organization will receive awards.
Gov. Holcomb said, “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 childcare solutions for their workforce, and they delivered.” He continued, “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.”
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 and will receive the remaining funds.
Thirty large employers with 1,000 or more employees will receive up to $750,000 each including United Way of Marshall County. Twenty-five mid-sized employers with between 100 and 999 employees will receive up to $350,000 including the Plymouth Community School Corporation. And nine small employers with between 20 and 99 employees will receive up to $50,000 including B.T.I. Inc. in Argos.
“I look forward to seeing all the inventive approaches to childcare 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 tomorrows. The program is also supported by the Indiana Manufacturers Association.