Organization name: Early Learning Indiana

Program Type

Work-based learning programs

Ages Served:

19-25 Years


Brief Program Summary: In October 2019, Early Learning Indiana launched the Educate ME Early pilot program to recruit, train and support men of color in entering the early childhood education field as classroom teachers. The program was a partner effort with Educate ME Foundation, Inc., an Indiana Nonprofit organization determined to increase the number of men and women of color in the field of education. African American and Latino males who applied and were selected as fellows co-led a classroom with the mentorship of a full-time teacher at an early childhood center in Central Indiana, with plans to transition to full-time teaching in the second year. In addition to the support of a mentoring teacher, Educate ME Early Fellows will receive individualized coaching and guidance from an Educate ME program coordinator throughout their experience. The Educate ME Foundation team’s goal was to recruit, train, place and support 50 men of color within Central Indiana to become program fellows. Ultimately, 48 people joined cohorts and completed training, and 7 participants found positions within the early learning sector. While the COVID-19 pandemic created unique challenges, the pilot program revealed some key areas to be addressed to strengthen the success of future cohorts.
Success Metrics: To increase diversity in early childhood education. To create a new talent pipeline to address workforce challenges (lack of early childhood educators) in the field. To accelerate teacher preparation and increase professionalization of the field by offering intentional training and professional development to new hires.


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: N/A


Annual Operating Cost: $100,000
Initial Start-Up Cost: N/A

Contact Information

Organization Name: Early Learning Indiana
Respondents Name: Emily Nelson
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