Come Back Stronger Fund continues to support child care centers in Indiana during pandemic


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INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana’s early learning providers are getting help to manage the ongoing pandemic.

In Summer 2020, the Lilly Endowment supported a $25 million initiative called the Come Back Stronger Fund. More than a thousand grants were provided to help providers adapt to COVID-19.

However, as the pandemic continued, so did the need.

“Of course at the end of the summer, when we finished the initial round, we thought perhaps we would have most of this behind us. But it became clear to us early learning providers had ongoing needs and with the staffing changes they needed to make in response to COVID-19,” said Maureen Weber, president and CEO of Early Learning Indiana.

Another round of grants in February gave out more than 800 more grants. So far, $23.5 million of the fund has been dispersed.

The remaining money will get a boost as more funding for early childhood learning is expected from the American Rescue Plan.

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