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For more information, please contact

Jane St. John
Economic and Sustainable Development Department
812-322-5193; or

Laurel Waters
Customer Service Representative
Economic and Sustainable Development Department

City Funds Available to Extend Early Childhood Education To More Bloomington Families

Bloomington, Ind. - The City of Bloomington's Department of Economic and Sustainable Development has announced that it is accepting applications for early childhood education funding.  Grants totalling $75,000 will be made to allow existing early childhood programs to increase their capacity to serve area families, especially those at low income levels.  

The application has been emailed to local child care providers and is available on the city’s website at the following link:  Applications will be received electronically until 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 14.  Awards will be announced on Thursday, September 6.

The Bloomington Common Council allocated $100,000 in child care funds in 2018.  Of that allocation, $15,000 has been awarded to the Compass Early Learning Center, where the funds established 48 spots in a full-time, affordable childcare operated by Monroe County United Ministries.  An additional $10,000 was allocated to the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County to support Monroe Smart Start’s Pre-K Navigator, a position that supports On My Way Pre-K outreach and enrollment.

The remaining  $75,000 will be used to create more spots in existing child care programs, allowing more children to benefit from high-quality early childhood education.  The grants may be used to fund additional staffing, supplies, need-based financial aid, or facility improvements at child care and preschool providers, which must create the additional spots by January 1, 2019.  

“Focusing concerted time and money strengthening early childhood education” was one of the six initiatives recommended by the Wage Growth Task Force in November 2016 as a way of accelerating wage growth in the Bloomington area.   Convened by Mayor John Hamilton, the task force determined that “support for families at the earliest stages [of their children’s development]... has a profound effect on our future workforce and the vitality of our community,” according to the task force’s report.     

“Giving children access to high-quality preschool is critical, but the cost to families and the shortage of qualified child care workers are major obstacles,” said Hamilton.  “This funding will increase the number of Bloomington children in pre-K while we work as a state toward early childhood education for all young Hoosiers.”

Grants are being administered by the City of Bloomington's Department of Economic and Sustainable Development, in cooperation with the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County.
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