Funding Opportunity: New Capacity Building Grant Application Released

New Funding Opportunity Enables More High-Quality Programs to Add Seats

Early Learning Indiana’s Partnerships for Early Learners announces a grant opportunity to increase the capacity of high-quality early childhood education programs. Currently, only about 40% of children from birth to five are enrolled in high-quality programs. To address this reality, Partnerships for Early Learners aims to add 1,000 high-quality seats in Indiana’s early childhood programs by 2020. With that goal in mind, nonprofit early education providers who are currently rated level 3 or 4 on Paths to QUALITY™ and meet geographic requirements have the opportunity to apply for support to increase their program capacity. (Due to restrictions on the funds that support this work, programs located in Marion, Hamilton, Boone, Hancock, and Hendricks Counties are not eligible to apply.) Programs must complete the first stage grant application by September 22, 2016, to be considered for stage two of this process. Following both stages, grants of up to $50,000, as well as technical support, will be awarded to several Indiana programs. Business skills training from the nationally-recognized First Children’s Finance will be available to selected grantees.

child-building-sqTo ensure that our next generation of Hoosiers is equipped to secure a high quality of life for themselves and their families, many more of Indiana’s youngest citizens need high-quality educational experiences. Of the roughly 500,000 Hoosier children ages birth to five, half currently live at or below 200% of the poverty level. Additionally, low-income children can be up to a full year behind their middle-income peers before they even start kindergarten. What’s more, these gaps typically persist into early elementary classrooms. High-quality early childhood experiences significantly change these odds, but there are not enough seats to serve all the early learners in our state. The early childhood field needs quick action – and that is why Partnerships for Early Learners is working in partnership with providers like you.

In early 2016, Partnerships for Early Learners invested in programs throughout the state to expand high-quality early education opportunities for 424 infants, toddlers and preschoolers. With a focus on improved business practices, five of these grant recipients have also received tools and training to facilitate unique goals and growth.

“The expansion grant made it possible for us to add two needed restrooms and supplies for two additional classrooms! This made it possible for us to add even younger children to our existing program. We would not be where we are today without this remarkable assistance, and we are so very grateful!”  

Bev Groover, Elwood Elementary Preschool
January 2016 Capacity Building Grantee

What kind of programs are a good match for this grant opportunity? Here are a few examples of projects that would be considered for funding:

  • A Paths to QUALITY™ Level 4 child care center or registered ministry in a low-income neighborhood has high demand for infant and toddler care. It has two rooms that are used for other purposes, and capital funds from this grant could allow the provider to repurpose them as infant and toddler classrooms.
  • A public school seeks to get on Paths to QUALITY™ quickly, move to Level 3, and open two classrooms for preschool or pre-k services. This grant supports outfitting the room and developmentally appropriate student supplies.
  • A community-based preschool contracts with a local school to provide on-site early education services. This grant supports classroom equipment and other start-up costs.

Don’t miss the dates below to make sure you are part of the next capacity building round grant opportunities.

August 30, 2016: Grant stage one application released

August 30, 2016: Capacity building grant webinar released for providers

September 6, 2016: Capacity building grant webinar released for program coaches

September 22, 2016: Last day to complete stage one application – due at 5 p.m.

September 23, 2016: Notification to complete application stage two

October 21, 2016: Last day to complete stage two application – due 5 p.m.

November 15, 2016: Award announcement

Complete the stage one application online today to be considered for the second stage. If you have any questions, head over to our FAQ and Grant Overview. To find out more about our work expanding high-quality early learning opportunities in Indiana, visit our Capacity Building strategy page.


Partnerships for Early Learners increases access and quality of early childhood programming across Indiana. With the generous support of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration’s Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning and the Lilly Endowment, Early Learning Indiana aims to ensure that 75% of Indiana’s children in child care or preschool are connected with a high-quality program and that their families are engaged and supported.