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Fund Overview

The Challenge

Early childhood education plays a vital role in our state, preparing children with critical learning experiences to support their development while supporting their families in working or seeking further education and training, ultimately improving their economic and social mobility. However, Hoosier families often face barriers in accessing child care due to local access gaps and affordability challenges. This dynamic leaves families in difficult positions as they make trade-offs about care decisions or leave the workforce altogether. The adverse effects trickle over into the business community, costing employers billions in recruitment challenges, absenteeism and high turnover rates.

The Opportunity

Indiana employers are uniquely positioned to help address child care barriers for their workforce. Studies show that employers' investments in early child care and education not only benefit their employees and the broader community, but also yield positive returns for their business, including strengthened recruitment and retention, increased productivity, growth in workforce diversity, improved employee relations and satisfaction, and enhanced corporate reputation.

The Response

The state is launching a $25 million innovative grant program to help mobilize Indiana’s business community to increase support for the state’s growing child care needs. The effort, which Gov. Holcomb detailed in his 2023 Next Level Agenda, provides seed funding for employers and non-profit organizations working on behalf of local employers to create or expand employer-sponsored child care benefits for Hoosier families. Funding is available to support the implementation of a range of child care benefit offerings, enabling employers and communities of all sizes to participate.