Each Indiana community is unique in its needs and opportunities. Child Care Answers is here to support you as a resident, leader, employee, or supporter of child care in Hamilton, Hendricks, or Marion Counties with community resources for child care.
One common thread runs throughout all of Indiana – affordable, high-quality early care and education is essential. Investments in early childhood education create sustainable, thriving communities. By bringing leaders, organizations, and businesses to the table, we can create scalable, sustainable solutions that benefit families and children for years to come, no matter where you live in Indiana. Covered in this guide:
The key to a thriving community is high-quality, affordable early care and education. Get facts about early care and education in Indiana as well as detailed data and action steps for Hamilton, Hendricks, and Marion Counties.
The first five years of a child’s life are foundational in their development. Investments in early care and education result in fewer investments later in the areas of K-12 remediation, health care, criminal justice costs, and more. Accessible and affordable high-quality early care and education creates a two-generational economic impact, allowing parents to participate in the workforce and provide for their families while engaging and educating the next generation workforce.
In the first five years of life, children’s brains grow faster than they ever will again. These early experiences shape brain development and set a foundation for a lifetime of learning.
Early childhood care and education not only affects future academic success. It affects community health, criminal activity, family incomes, and corporate bottom lines too. We have a lot of work to do in central Indiana - but, together, we can make the essential accessible to all.
These case studies feature several child care efforts in local communities across the state of Indiana. Varying in size and location, they offer real-world examples of how communities can come together in support of high-quality child care. Get inspired to take action in your own community!
Looking to take that next step? Connect with us in English or Spanish for guidance on how to get active in your community. Or, read ideas on our Get Involved page.
Providing Affordable Child Care, No Matter What
Hendricks County organization serves families experiencing homelessness
Our team of specialists are in your corner, every step of the way. If you need help understanding your community’s child care needs, creating community resources for families, or advocating for child care in your community, call on one of these caring experts. Fill out our Community Information Form in English or Spanish or call 317.636.5727 to get connected.
Malik , Rasheed. “Examining the Powerful Impact of Investments in Early Childhood for Children, Families, and Our Nation’s Economy.” Center for American Progress, September 6, 2022. https://www.americanprogress.org/article/examining-the-powerful-impact-of-investments-in-early-childhood-for-children-families-and-our-nations-economy/.
“Data Center”, Brighter Futures Indiana, Accessed August 21, 2023. brighterfuturesindiana.org/data-center.
“U.S. Census Bureau Quickfacts: Hamilton County, IN.” Median Gross Rent, 2017-2021. Accessed March 22, 2023. https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/US/PST045221.
“Average Annual (Mean) Expenditures and Shares for the U.S. and Regions, 2020–21.” Consumer expenditures for the U.S., regions, and selected metropolitan areas. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Accessed March 23, 2023. https://www.bls.gov/regions/midwest/data/consumerexpenditures_selectedareas_table.htm.
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We asked team CCA to reflect on their first paying jobs. Check out our diverse early “careers”! Skylar, Administrative Assistant My first paying job was a mother’s helper for a neighbor’s family. I helped her with household work, made sure her son was taken care of, and even got to run errands with them. I […]
Rebuilding and Strengthening Indiana’s Early Childhood System The average cost of high-quality infant/toddler care in central Indiana is over $14,000, which is nearly double the average Midwestern family’s yearly grocery budget. To address the needs of families and the child care community, Indiana received nearly $1.2 billion in federal funding following the impacts of the […]
Not to brag or anything, but our pets are kinda a big deal! We asked team CCA to share (and brag!) about their furry (and feathery) friends. Go ahead – ooh and aah over these cuties! Lane, Human Resources Manager I have Max. He’s a ten pound yorkie/chihuahua mix and my first experience owning a […]
Change is woven into the fabric of our lives. Despite this, we can feel deeply stuck in systems that are complex and overwhelming. At least, this is how I felt as a parent of a newborn trying to find and pay for care in the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. I was desperate to find […]
Making resolutions is one of the most popular New Year’s traditions, and yet year after year, we admittedly struggle to keep up with those well-intentioned commitments. If that sounds all too familiar, 2024 might just be your year! We asked Child Care Answers staff how they plan to ring in the New Year and reflect […]
Most people think of Giving Tuesday as a day to share your financial resources with non-profits. At CCA, we also appreciate when others give some elbow grease and share their expertise with us. For this Giving Thursday post, we asked staff, “Besides CCA, what is your favorite organization to support with your time, talent, and […]
Strengthen Indy Child Care Grant Are you a child care provider looking to expand or improve your program? Or are you ready to open a new child care program? Is your program located in Marion County within one of the following zip codes? If so the Strengthen Indy Child Care grant might be the opportunity […]
BOO! To celebrate Halloween, we asked CCA staff to share their favorite costumes and fall memories. Tom, Family Engagement Manager My siblings and I did a group costume when we were really young. My brother and I were each wrapped in green plastic wrap and my sister was a tissue box with a sign that […]
Do you have the availability to host a future onsite event? Let us know or contacta en español. Child Care Providers: SPARK Learning Lab provides all professional development sessions for child care providers. Use Indiana Learning Paths to register for any face-to-face sessions, live webinars or online trainings.
Fall is a time when many cultures celebrate their heritage. To join in, we asked our staff to share about their heritage and how they celebrate at home. Rosy, Multicultural Family Engagement Specialist We would go to Chicago to see the Mexican Independence Day Parade or we would go to Garfield Park in Indy to […]
August is Library Card Sign-Up month! At Child Care Answers, we have wonderful partnerships with our local libraries, but our love for the library started with our families. So, to celebrate, we asked our staff about their favorite library memories! Grace Sededji, Child Care Resource & Referral Specialist One of my favorite memories is from […]
At Child Care Answers, we want to honor everything that makes you, well, you! As the leader of Child Care Answers, I’ve seen first-hand how important it is to instill a welcoming culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion. This not only applies to our board and staff, but we work to ensure that it radiates […]
Looking for something to do as your summer comes to an end? We asked Child Care Answers staff to share what they like to do with their families! Give one of our favorite summer memories a try! Jessica, Community Engagement Specialist As a child, my family’s favorite thing to do during the summer was grill […]
Data/assessment specialist Patti Bowes usually tells stories through data, but today is her chance to tell us her story in her own words. Learn more about Patti below! Talk about a fellow educator you admired and what you learned most from them. One educator that stands out to me was my college chemistry teacher. It […]
As CCA’s first contact for families and child care professionals, CCR&R specialist Grace Sededji‘s name might be familiar to many of you. But, did you know that she was a toddler teacher and is a mom? Learn more below! What was your favorite activity to do with your kids in the classroom? When I worked […]
If you are a child care professional, you definitely know how hard it can be to maintain composure both inside and outside of the classroom. To help you find your calm, we hope you’ve heard about SPARK Learning Lab’s partnership with the Calm App. By filling out a short form, you can get access to […]
Office manager and HR generalist Lane Heaney keeps CCA humming as an organization, but did you know that her roots run deep in caring for children as well? Read below to learn more! What was your favorite activity to do with your kids in the classroom? I have always been an advocate of early literacy […]
The Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning (OECOSL) is a critical partner for Child Care Answers’ work. We’re thrilled this month to welcome Beth Steward, child care quality specialist at OECOSL. Read below to learn more about her experience and how the State is shaping child care. What is your early childhood education background? […]
Community Help Guide Each Indiana community is unique in its needs and opportunities. Child Care Answers is here to support you as a resident, leader, employee, or supporter of child care in Hamilton, Hendricks, or Marion Counties with community resources for child care. One common thread runs throughout all of Indiana – affordable, high-quality early […]
CCA’s newest staff member, community engagement specialist Jessica Carman, joined us in the fall. We’re thrilled to have her on the team and to be able to share a little bit more about her below! What was your favorite activity to do with your preschool students when you were in the classroom? My favorite activity […]
Family engagment specialist Jamie Le Sesne Spears offers a diverse set of experiences as a mom of a toddler and former preschool teacher. Read below to learn more about her! What was your favorite activity to do with your kids in the classroom? Any activity that involved the creative process! My sweet spot was mixing […]
The family is a child’s introduction to the world. A child’s identity is grounded by their culture and heritage. For families, there is pride and honor in sharing your culture with your child. As they step out of the home and into new environments, like child care, holding onto a family’s culture can become complicated. […]
Just as family and community engagement manager Tom Taylor‘s work at CCA covers a diverse group of audiences and experiences, his other “job” as dad also has a lot of variety. As dad to a newborn, an eight-year-old, and a teenager, he’s got all his bases covered! What did you like most about your kids’ […]
Oftentimes, we have high hopes for the holidays. We want to go to all places and do all the things. Just imagine it now – Mariah Carey setting the tone as you are sipping cocoa by the fire, and your little ones are quietly crafting at the table. It will be cozy, magical, and perfect, […]
While knowledge manager Kristin Kahl has spent more time behind a computer screen than in a classroom, she has learned so much from her vocation as a mom and from her time at Child Care Answers. Learn more about her below! What did you like most about your kids’ child care experiences? I actually loved […]
Your guide to early childhood mental health resources in Hamilton County, Indiana Here at Child Care Answers, in partnership with A Healthier Hamilton County: Systems of Care, we work to ensure all families and child care professionals in central Indiana have the necessary resources to access and navigate behavioral and mental health services. Included in […]
Family support specialist Lauren George brings a wealth of knowledge to her role as a former infant teacher, Certified Lactation Consultant, and mom of two young children. Learn more about her experiences below! What was your favorite activity to do with your kids in the classroom? Every Friday we had cleaning parties. Each child would […]
As a former preschool teacher and current aunt to school-agers, program engagement specialist Michelle Terry has a lot of stories up her sleeve. Read more to get to know her a bit better. What was your favorite activity to do with your kids when you were in the classroom? During circle time, I enjoyed teaching […]
I have always found a purpose in art. The creative process provides me with time to think and space to express my feelings; but it wasn’t always that way! Being a bit of a perfectionist, it was hard to let go of the “cookie-cutter” crafts. I wanted so badly to be good at art that […]