Research shows that children with access to quality child care are more successful in school and in life. In Indiana, The Expectations Project has joined with community partners to help raise awareness about the need for increasing both the supply of and the demand for high quality early childhood education.
This past month we partnered with the United Way, Light of the World Christian Church and several other community partners on the Economics of Early Education Summit, featuring education expert and economist Dr. Robert Dugger. The Summit focused on: 1) Increasing the number of high quality daycare centers and pre-schools across Indiana; 2) Bolstering the quality of existing programs; 3) Supporting Indiana lawmakers in their efforts to secure state funding for early childhood education.
The event attracted over 500 educators, policy influencers and members of the faith community, encouraging them to advocate for publicly funded early childhood education programs in Indiana. The event included remarks from Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, Senior Pastor of the Light of the World Christian Church, Dr. David Hampton and a film screening of Are We Crazy About Our Kids? Watch the documentary here:
Responding to community concerns, the state of Indiana recently passed legislation that will offer direct aid to help children from low-income families attend pre-school. The new pilot program, which could go into effect as early as this fall, will serve 1,500 children. We celebrate this important victory for Indiana families. Before this legislation, Indiana was one of only nine states not providing any state funding for pre-K.
But the work is just getting started. With tens of thousands of eligible children in Indiana there is still work to do to ensure all kids receive a high quality pre-school education and remain healthy and safe while away from their parents.