Posted by Michelle Thomas, TCC Senior Policy Advisor

Early childhood providers have been drastically and financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many providers have closed either voluntarily or by state executive order. In some states, providers have been allowed to operate, but under guidelines that result in a serious reduction in enrollment and attendance. Federal and state policymakers are working hard to provide systemic support packages to help providers stay afloat during this crisis.

In some cases, businesses and foundations are stepping up to assist early childhood providers. Early Learning Indiana announced that with the support of the Lilly Endowment they are providing grants to Indiana early care and education providers through the Come Back Stronger Fund.

The Come Back Stronger Fund is a $15 million fund designed to support providers across the state who are committed to serving vulnerable families and will reinforce the state supply of high-quality early learning opportunities. Funds will offset new expenses that providers incur to safely operate during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes enhancing sanitation measures, supporting social distancing by altering the physical environment of the facility, and providing personalized sets of materials and toys to limit cross-contamination among children.

The Come Back Stronger fund will provide grant of up to $40,000 per site, based upon established eligibility criteria.

Eligible nonprofit and for-profit organizations must be:

  • A licensed or registered center, ministry, or family child-care home in the state of Indiana and in good standing
  • An approved CCDF or On My Way Pre-K provider or a provider that otherwise serves children from vulnerable family populations, defined as households at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level
  • Operating as a Paths to QUALITY™ Level 3 or 4, or as a Paths to QUALITY™ Level 2 with a demonstrated commitment to achieving a higher level of program quality
  • Serving children ages 0-5

To learn more about the Come Back Stronger Fund visit the Early Learning Indiana website

To learn more about TCC’s Early Childhood Data Systems and Services please visit our website



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