Lilly Endowment Awards $22.5 Million for Early Childhood Education

Lilly Endowment Awards $22.5 Million for Early Childhood Education

The Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment has announced grants totaling $22.5 million in support of efforts to increase high-quality early childhood education opportunities in Indiana.

As part of the endowment's commitment to ensure that early childhood education programs in Indiana meet the highest quality rating under the state's Paths to QUALITY system, Early Learning Indiana, an agency of United Way of Central Indiana, was awarded $20 million to help at least four hundred early childhood education providers improve their programs and outreach efforts. The funds will be used to build new classrooms, strengthen curricula, educate and engage parents about the importance of high-quality child care and preschool programs, bolster staff and teacher development, and improve business practices. In addition, UWCI was awarded $2.5 million in support of its ongoing efforts to strengthen early childhood education programs in Indianapolis and the surrounding six-county region.

The Lilly Endowment awarded $1 million to UWCI in 2012 to launch a ten-year initiative aimed at increasing the quality and quantity of early childhood education programs in the state, and $1 million to Early Learning Indiana in 2013  to expand its early child care training programs.

"These new grants extend and deepen the endowment's commitment to improve the quality of early childhood education across Indiana," said Sara Cobb, the endowment's vice president for education. "We know that the children who participate in these high-quality programs will have brighter, more successful futures. Indiana will be better because of it."