Early Education Matching Grants

Background Information

The Early Education Matching Grant program, established by the Indiana General Assembly in 2013 (and renewed in 2015 for an additional two-year cycle), allows high-quality, early child care and education programs to apply for matching funds to serve 4-year-old children from families whose incomes are below federal poverty guidelines. Research has shown that high-quality education prepares children for school. Children who start school ready are much more likely to experience school success.

The EEMG grants are awarded annually by FSSA through a competitive process to early education programs that meet the requirements including having a rating of Level 3 or Level 4 on Paths to QUALITY™, Indiana’s early education and child care quality rating and improvement system. To learn more about Paths to QUALITY™, click here. Participating programs must also secure matching donations and agree to participate in a study to determine the impact of the program on school readiness.

For the 2014-15 school year, 30 different early education programs were awarded grants totaling over $1.4 million to serve low income 4-year-olds in 15 different counties throughout Indiana. Click here to see a list of high quality early education programs that received a grant in 2014-15. Over 400 4-year-old children received a Pre-K education at one of these locations.

For the 2015-16 school year, 19 early learning programs, located in 14 different Indiana counties, are serving 491 low income 4-year-olds. Grants totaling over $1.4 million were awarded to these high quality programs. Click here to see a list of high quality early education programs that received a grant in 2015-16.

The Early Education Matching Grant statute also requires an evaluation of the grant program. Michael Conn-Powers, Ph.D., the director of the Early Childhood Center at Indiana University Indiana Institute on Disability and Community is completing this evaluation, measuring child outcomes, teacher-child interactions, child development outcomes and family engagement activities within the participating programs. Please click here to read the Indiana University's review of year one of the Early Education Matching Grant. Please click here to read the Indiana University's review of year two of the Early Education Matching Grant.

Latest Updates:

3/31/2016: The Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning is pleased to announce the awardees of the two-year Early Education Matching grants for the 2016-17 and 2017-18 school years.

To view a recent press release on the grant awards including a list of grantees click here.

Please click here to see the contact information for programs offering high quality early education programs for 2016-17.

Families who are interested in receiving a free pre-K education for their child should contact the Early Education Matching Grant (EEMG) recipient program directly to apply. To be eligible, children must be 4 but not yet 5 years old. Families must earn less than 100 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL). Click here for a 2016 FPL chart.