Expand access to high-quality early learning program participation

Problem Statement

Access to high-quality early learning is critical for ensuring children from low-income households are provided with a strong academic foundation when they enroll in Kindergarten. In Marion County today, there is an insufficient number of high-quality seats available, and the cost of high-quality programs can be an impediment for some families. A lack of early learning programs also impacts the ability of employees with children to remain in the workforce.

    

Action Steps

Employers of all sizes should establish an early learning employee benefit program, stratified by family income, that improves the affordability and accessibility of high-quality early learning. An early learning employee benefit program could consist of some or all of the following:

  1. An Education Savings Account (structured like a Health Savings Account) providing an employer contribution to match (partially or fully) an employee’s contribution to their child’s early learning program.
  2. Reserved seats at local earlyl earning programs.
  3. Investment in on-site or near-site early learning programs.
  4. Back-up care services.
  5. Early learning tuition scholarships.

Each of these benefit options would help grow demand for or help underwrite the costs to operate early learning programs, in turn helping to grow the supply of high-quality providers. Easier access to high-quality early learning programs has the added benefit of supporting working parents and enabling them to work full time.

Hiring and Promotions Task Force Recommendations

Education to Workforce Talent Pipeline – Data Analysis

Interactive data visualization highlighting the pervasive disparities in education outcomes for Black and Hispanic children and adults in Indianapolis and Indiana and the troubling consequences.

Racial Gaps in Education to Workforce Talent Pipeline Report

The Learning and Talent task force developed this research paper and its related interactive data tool to analyze education and workforce data to identify disparities in education outcomes for Black and Hispanic children and adults in Indianapolis and Indiana, along with their troubling consequences.

Education and Workforce Development Program Database

Explore a database of 200 existing education and workforce development programs in Marion County, Indiana that complements the BEI Learning and Talent Opportunities Taskforce’s recommendations for companies to improve education and workforce development outcomes for Black and Hispanic individuals and identifies specific programs and initiatives in which the corporate community can engage.

Provide training for your workforce on DE&I topics

Consider your workforce’s skills limitations for hiring and serving minority populations by offering implicit bias or anti-racism trainings.

Employer-provided Benefits and Supports for Post-Secondary Education

Increase access to and persistence through post-secondary education participation through employer-provided benefits and supports (e.g., FAFSA completion support, financial literacy curriculum, tuition assistance programs, etc.)
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