Organization name: Early Learning Indiana

Program Type

Early childhood education programs

Ages Served:

0-4 Years
5-11 Years


Brief Program Summary: Early Learning Indiana practices what it teaches and seeks to transform the early education field starting with its eight Day Early Learning (DEL) centers. These centers are a network of premier, community-based lab schools where Early Learning Indiana (ELI) can advance the science of early education, invest in a new generation of teaching and instill essential skills in approximately 800 children each day. Despite opportunities to expand to more profitable markets, ELI is committed to serving the most vulnerable families in Indianapolis and achieving equitable educational outcomes. All eight Day Early Learning centers are located in Indianapolis, and they serve children ages 6 weeks to 6 years old. Around 64 percent of DEL families are non-white, and 60 percent of children at DEL centers receive tuition assistance, either through government subsidies or through supplemental funds raised by ELI. Currently, 37% of children served are Black/African American, and 8% are Hispanic/Latino(a/x). DEL centers meet or exceed the highest standards for child care in Indiana and are accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Seven DEL centers are rated Level 4 on Paths to QUALITYTM (Indiana’s QRIS system) and nationally accredited by NAEYC. The eighth and newest location, DEL at Eastern Star Church, is a Level 3 and awaiting a NAEYC site visit to reach Level 4, once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.
Success Metrics: Early Learning Indiana believes that all children are competent and capable, learn through relationships with adults and peers, construct knowledge from diverse experiences, develop at a unique and individual pace, and are constantly learning. In order to support this approach, teachers and leaders must provide a learning environment inclusive of the following components, for children to reach their full potential: – Relationships are caring and responsive, establishing the security children need to explore the world around them; – Play is seen as crucial to children’s physical, intellectual and social development; teachers provide an intentional focus on identifying and calling out each child’s positive attributes; – Teachers seek to understand and adapt to the context of each child’s individual family, community and experiences; – Every child receives the educational resources they need to succeed; and – Children are provided the predictable relationships, routines and actions that allow them to thrive. Day Early Learning’s ultimate measure of success is children being prepared to succeed in kindergarten and beyond. Children are assessed regularly using the Teaching Strategies GOLD observational assessment and other measures. All pre-kindergarten children (regardless of payer) are also assessed using the Kindergarten Readiness Indicator adopted for children enrolled in Indiana’s On My Way Pre-K program. ELI gathered baseline data for children within DEL centers in 2020 and is implementing instructional interventions in response to areas of identified need. In addition to these child level assessments, at least annually, ELI leverages Teachstone CLASS® to evaluate interactions between teachers and children. Evidence shows that the quality of these interactions is a leading indicator for the learning outcomes achieved.


Number Served & Racial Distribution:

Total Number of Individuals Annually Served


Black or African Americans Annually Served


Hispanic or Latinos Annually Served


Geographic Scope:

− Central Indiana Counties: Marion
− Additional/Other Areas of Focus: Eight Day Early Learning (DEL) centers


Annual Operating Cost: $9,700,000
Initial Start-Up Cost: $860,000

Contact Information

Organization Name: Early Learning Indiana
Respondents Name: Emily Nelson
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