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Since 2009, United Way of Central Indiana has convened a statewide coalition of early childhood educators, business leaders, and philanthropic organizations aimed at improving the quality of Indiana’s early childhood education system and increasing access to programs. Early Learning Indiana has been a key partner in these efforts. With advocacy aimed at both the Governor’s office and the Indiana General Assembly, the coalition successfully turned a five-county pilot into a statewide program for pre-k.

United Way of Central Indiana • Indianapolis, IN 
Early Learning Indiana • Indianapolis, IN 
Top Priorities for 2021

Maintain state funding for Indiana’s On My Way Pre-k program, serving 4-year-olds from low-income families, in the 2021 budgetwriting legislative session.

Improve Indiana’s child care quality rating and improvement system, Paths to QUALITY, by linking quality ratings to outcomes-driven standards.

Establish an early childhood integrated data system for more consistent, systematic, and comprehensive data reporting.

Foster a regulatory environment that supports and incentivizes the creation of child-care networks in which providers benefit from achieving administrative scale.

Change Indiana child care subsidy policy from funding attendance to funding enrollment, and leveraging more innovative funding mechanisms to ensure more stable and predictable funding.

Engage the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet in seeking solutions to the obstacles businesses face with the current early childhood education workforce.

Indiana’s 2020 Early Childhood Policy Landscape and Progress:

Estimated FY20 State General Fund Expenditure

House (R), Senate (R)
Governor (R)

301,575 Young Children (0-8) are Below 200% FPL

Indiana’s legislative session ended in March, before the pandemic. Indiana had a healthy rainy day fund, so the state is just beginning to see the full fiscal impact of the pandemic with state agencies being asked to revert 15 percent of funds in 2020- 2021 fiscal year. 

So far, the fiscal climate has not impacted early childhood policy or funding. Allies helped the Office of Early Childhood and Out of School Learning gather information from providers and families during the pandemic that informed decisions by the governor that helped keep child care safe and open during the crisis.

*Early childhood policy progress in a state is the result of numerous efforts — by those listed on this page and many others — who worked both independently and collaboratively to achieve wins for young children.

Download the full 50-State report.

The Alliance for Early Success 2020 50-State Progress Report on Early Childhood Policy expands state data (disaggregating low-income young children by race) and provides high-level state policy trend analysis for the nation as a whole. Click the cover to go to the download page.

State Budget Data: National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO), “Table 4: Fiscal 2020 State General Fund, Estimated (Millions); The Fiscal Survey of the States.” Spring, 2020
Low-Income Data (including disaggregation by race): National Center for Children in Poverty, “NCCP Analysis of ACS 1-year Estimates—Public Use Microdata Sample, 2019.”
State Action Data: Provided by state advocates, October-November 2020, with analysis and synthesis by Frontera Strategy for Alliance for Early Success, “Protecting Progress and Investing in Scale: The 2020 50-State Progress Report on Early Childhood Education Policy.”
Additional State Actions: Mincic, Melissa,  Early Care and Education, State Budget Actions, Fiscal Year 2020. National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), October 2020. 
The Alliance for Early Success is achieving large-scale, long-lasting change for the state’s young children by providing our allies with powerful advantages that help them shape Indiana early childhood state policy.

Strategic, Outcomes-Focused Investments

Consulting and Strategy

Technical Support from National Expertise

Rapid Response Support

Connections/Access to Allies in Similar States

Roles in National Communities of Practice