Skip to main content
Visit our Blog to learn more about our resources!

Visit our Blog

Visit our Blog to learn more about our resources!

Click here to see the blog

It looks like your browser is out-of-date! For the best user experience, please upgrade to a more modern browser like Chrome or Edge.

Brighter Futures Logo
  • Build, Learn, Grow Scholarship Fund

    The Build, Learn, Grow Scholarship program provides financial assistance to families working in essential businesses to help them continue working and ensure their children receive the high-quality early care and education they need. Scholarships for children enrolled in early childhood programs will end on June 30, 2022 and summer scholarships are still available to school-age children (ages 5-12) through Aug. 5, 2022.

    Program End and Ongoing Support for Families:
    Scholarships for families enrolled in early childhood education programs end June 30, 2022. Summer scholarships are available to children ages 5-12 through Aug. 5, 2022 (apply by June 30). Transitional support for families receiving 80% tuition assistance is available after the scholarships end. Providers must apply for temporary CCDF assistance on behalf of eligible families by the dates below.

  • Early childhood CCDF assistance:

    Apply by June 24

    Learn More
  • School-age CCDF assistance:

    Apply by Aug. 5.

    Learn More

Build, Learn, Grow Frequently Asked Questions

Find frequently asked questions about Build, Learn, Grow program initiatives. Details on new initiatives will be posted here as announced.

Build, Learn, Grow Scholarship Fund

  • Description: The Build, Learn, Grow Scholarship program provides financial assistance to families working in essential businesses to help them continue working while ensuring their children receive the high-quality early care and education they need. Scholarships for children enrolled in early childhood programs will end on June 30, 2022, with Indiana offering temporary assistance though the CCDF program to support the program’s most vulnerable families. Summer scholarships are still available to school-age children (ages 5-12) through August 2022.
  • Program End:
    • Build, Learn, Grow scholarships for families enrolled in early childhood education programs end June 30, 2022. To support continued access to care, Indiana’s Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning is providing temporary CCDF eligibility for approximately 6,600 scholarships families with incomes at or below 85% of state median income. Providers should apply for temporary CCDF assistance on behalf of eligible families between May 25 and June 24, 2022. Learn more.
    • Build, Learn, Grow summer scholarships are available to children ages 5-12 through August 2022. Learn more.
  • Who is eligible to CCDF assistance through the Build, Learn, Grow scholarship fund?

    To be eligible for this opportunity, families must be currently enrolled in the Build, Learn, Grow Scholarship program and attending an early childhood program with a household income at or below 85% of State Median Income.

  • What is involved in the application process?

    Providers should submit an application on behalf of eligible and interested families using an online application form that is a streamlined version of the standard CCDF application. The application guide outlines the data and information that is required from providers and families. While providers may already have much of the information and documentation needed to submit the application, there are additional required pieces of information they will need to collect from families. Once the provider submits the application, the family should expect to hear about the status of their application within 10 business days. Once approved, families will receive a 53-week voucher and the provider will be notified through the application portal.

  • How can providers identify eligible scholarship families?

    Providers should have received an email with a link to a list of eligible families. If you need further assistance, contact the SPARK Help Desk at (800) 299-1627, via email at help@indianaspark.com, or live chat on indianaspark.com or in My SPARK Learning Lab.

  • How long will applications be accepted?

    Applications will be accepted until Friday, June 24, 2022. Providers are encouraged to submit family applications early to avoid coverage gaps.

  • How long will it take for families to hear back?

    Once a provider submits an application on behalf of the family, families will hear from a CCDF eligibility office within 10 business days.

  • How soon will vouchers take effect and providers begin receiving payments?

    Vouchers for approved families will be effective July 3, 2022, and providers will receive their first payment on August 3, 2022. The first CCDF payment will cover services from July 3 to July 16, 2022. Please note that this creates a four-week gap between the end of the scholarship period and the first CCDF payment. Providers are not permitted to charge families for this gap as it will be covered in their first CCDF payment.

  • Who should I contact if I need help?

    Providers who have questions about the application should consult the application guide. If you have additional questions, need support answering family questions or have a large number of applications to submit, contact the SPARK Help Desk at (800) 299-1627, via email at help@indianaspark.com, or live chat on indianaspark.com or in My SPARK Learning Lab. Providers with a high volume of applications may request onsite support to help families and expedite the application process.

  • Are school-age children eligible for CCDF vouchers?

    The Build, Learn, Grow Scholarship program is still available to families with school-age children through the end of the summer. Learn more here.

  • If a child was previously enrolled in the Build, Learn, Grow scholarship but has since disenrolled or transitioned to a summer scholarship, are they eligible for CCDF support?

    No, the child must currently be enrolled in the Build, Learn, Grow program for early childhood education.

  • Are there other assistance opportunities for scholarship families that fall outside the eligibility group?

    To support families that fall outside the eligibility criteria, providers may use their Build, Learn, Grow Stabilization Grant funds, which also fulfills one of the requirements of the grant.

  • Can families not on Build, Learn, Grow scholarships that meet the income criteria qualify for this opportunity?

    No, families must be currently enrolled in the Build, Learn, Grow Scholarship program.

  • Where can I find more information about the CCDF program?

Emergency Relief Grants

  • Time period: March 28, 2021-October 8, 2022
  • Eligibility: Programs must be CCDF eligible and serving children with active vouchers.
  • Description: To address programs’ increased COVID-related operating expenses, temporary Emergency Relief Grants offer a 20% increase to reimbursements for programs serving children receiving CCDF/On My Way Pre-K.
  • Application: View the Reimbursement Schedule
  • Who is eligible to receive Emergency Relief Grants?

    Programs must be CCDF eligible and serving children with active CCDF and On My Way Pre-K vouchers.

  • How do I apply to become a CCDF-eligible provider?

    To become CCDF eligible, contact your licensing consultant. Learn more at https://www.in.gov/fssa/carefinder/provider-resources/.

  • My program is CCDF eligible, but we are not currently serving CCDF children. Am I eligible to receive grant funds?

    You will only receive grant funds when your program is actively serving children using CCDF vouchers.

  • How do I apply to receive the Emergency Relief Grant?

    To streamline and expedite the process for programs to receive these funds, the state is not requiring providers to submit an application and will instead automatically apply the 20% increase to your regularly scheduled bi-weekly CCDF payments

  • Will the 20% increase be applied to care provided before the grant period?

    No. The increase will only be applied to care provided to children with active CCDF vouchers between March 28, 2021 and October 8, 2022

  • What if I change my rates while receiving Emergency Relief Grants?

    Changing your rate is unlikely to impact your CCDF reimbursement since reimbursements are based upon the lesser of the market rate or the provider’s charge rate.

  • How will the 20% increase be applied to eligible programs?

    The reimbursement increase will be applied based on time and attendance for the set CCDF reimbursement rates found here (https://www.in.gov/fssa/carefinder/provider-reimbursements/).

  • If I attempt to collect payment from a family for missed CCDF swipes, can I only collect my posted tuition rate or can I also attempt to collect the additional 20%?

    You may only collect your posted tuition rate

  • How will programs receive grant funds?

    Programs will receive grant funds automatically during their regularly scheduled bi-weekly payments from FSSA. The grant funds will be added on top of regular reimbursements.

  • When will programs receive grant funds?

    Programs will receive grant funds on a bi-weekly basis following the FSSA 2021 Child Care Provider Payment Schedule. Programs will receive their first grant payment on April 28, 2021. Final payments will be made on October 8, 2022.

  • What can relief grant funds be used for?

    Programs can use relief funds to help cover increased operating expenses and for expenses incurred to reopen classrooms, hire additional staff and compensate team members.

  • Will the 20% increase be applied before or after CCDF co-payments are added to a program’s regularly scheduled payment?

    The increase will be added before the CCDF co-payments.

  • Who should I contact if I find an error with my Emergency Relief Grant payment?

    For specific questions about your Emergency Relief Grant payment, contact your policy consultant or email OECOSLproviderinquiry@fssa.IN.gov.

Job Search Added as Valid Service Need for On My Way Pre-K and CCDF

  • Time period: April 2021 until funds/demand are depleted
  • Eligibility: Families that meet the income requirements of being at or below 127% of the Federal Poverty Level and are unemployed and seeking employment are eligible.
  • Description: As a temporary service to help families displaced from the workforce due to COVID-19 find new employment and more children enroll in quality child care programs, "Job Search” will be added as a valid service need for initial eligibility for On My Way Pre-K and CCDF-funded programs. This will be offered until funds are depleted or demand subsides.
  • Click HERE to apply for CCDF/On My Way Pre-K
  • Why is job search being added as a valid service need for On My Way Pre-K and CCDF?

    Adding “job search” as a valid service need for On My Way Pre-K and CCDF eligibility will provide support to families who have been displaced from the workforce due to COVID-19 as they seek new employment and return to work. This is a temporary support that will expire when funds run out or demand subsides.

  • Who is eligible to apply for assistance under the “job search” category?

    Families that meet the income requirements of being at or below 127% of the Federal Poverty Level and are unemployed and seeking employment are eligible

  • I am currently unemployed due to COVID-19. How do I apply for child care assistance while I look for a job?
  • How will eligibility be determined for individuals applying for assistance under this category?

    Families will apply through Early Ed Connect and then be contacted by the eligibility office for next steps in the enrollment process. Families will be asked to fill out some additional documentation as well as sign a form indicating they are currently unemployed and looking for employment.

  • If approved, what child care assistance will families receive?

    If approved, the family will receive a 53-week child care assistance voucher.

  • What happens if a family doesn’t find employment within the voucher period?

    If a family has not been successful in finding employment at the time of their voucher reauthorization, they will not be eligible to receive further assistance.

  • Will a family receive workforce development support to find a job while receiving child care assistance?

    Receiving CCDF assistance for child care will not keep a family from receiving workforce development support.

  • My child has an active CCDF voucher now, but I recently lost my job. Can I apply for assistance under this new category of assistance?

    If you are currently receiving CCDF vouchers, report your change in employment to your eligibility office so they can provide you with your options.

  • Who should I contact with questions or if I need help completing the online application for child care assistance?

    Contact the Brighter Futures Indiana Solution Center at solutioncenter@earlylearningindiana.org or (800) 299-1627.

Program Enrollment Report

  • Time period: April 28-Ongoing
  • How to Access: Programs will receive a monthly email with a link.
  • Description: To help provide insight into the early childhood education supply and demand gaps across our state and better inform ongoing relief and recovery efforts, programs will report their enrollment every month via the Program Enrollment Reporting tool.
  • Why is the Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning (OECOSL) requiring programs to report on enrollment?

    Enrollment data reported by programs will help provide insight into the early childhood education supply and demand gaps across our state and better inform ongoing relief and recovery efforts.

  • Who is required to complete the program enrollment report?

    All CCDF-eligible programs in Indiana are required to report their enrollment.

  • How will I receive the program enrollment report to complete?

    Programs will receive a link to the monthly program enrollment report via email and/or text. Sign up for text alerts by texting UPDATES to 465437.

  • What email address should I use to log in?

    Log in using the email address for the program administrator that is on file with OECOSL.

  • Who will receive the form at my program?

    The enrollment form will be sent to the program administrator on file with OECOSL.

  • I want to reassign this task to another staff person at my program site. How do I do that?

    Once logged in with the program administrator’s email address, you can update the contact information to the person you would like to start receiving and updating the form.

  • What information will programs be asked to report?

    The report asks for total capacity, the number of currently enrolled children, the number of open seats available for enrollment, and the number of seats open but unable to be filled due to outside factors such as staffing challenges.

  • If my enrollment does not change from month to month, do I still need to complete the form?

    Yes, you must still complete each report.

  • Am I required to report enrollment while my program is closed for the summer?

    The enrollment reporting tool contains an option to note that your program will close for the summer months. If your program closes for the summer, you can indicate that on your last report submission of the school year, and you will be excluded for reporting until the end of summer break.

  • How will information reported by programs be used?

    Enrollment data will populate a statewide enrollment dashboard to help OECOSL monitor supply and demand gaps and inform future investment efforts.

  • Who should I contact if I have questions or need assistance completing the form?

    For assistance, contact the Brighter Futures Indiana Solution Center at (800) 299-1627 or by email at Solutioncenter@earlylearningindiana.org

  • Who should I contact if I have trouble logging in?

    For assistance, contact the Brighter Futures Indiana Solution Center at (800) 299-1627 or by email at Solutioncenter@earlylearningindiana.org

Building Wellness Program

The Build, Learn, Grow Building Wellness program is a shared employee assistance program for Indiana’s early care and education system, offering free, short-term counseling, legal and financial consultation, work-life assistance and crisis intervention services to early care and education and out-of-school time providers, their employees and their employees’ household family members or dependents. Services are free of charge, as needed, to qualifying individuals. The program is strictly confidential. No information about an individual’s participation in the program will be shared with the person’s employer or with the state of Indiana. Learn more here.

Program Date: May 2022-September 2023

  • What is the Build, Learn, Grow Building Wellness program?

    The Build, Learn, Grow Building Wellness program is a shared employee assistance program for Indiana’s early care and education system sponsored by the Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning (OECOSL), in partnership with SPARK Learning Lab and operated by ComPsych®.

  • What services does the program offer?

    The program offers free, short-term counseling, legal and financial consultation, work-life assistance and crisis intervention services. A full listing of services is provided above.

  • Who is eligible to access and receive program services?

    This program is open to individuals who own or are actively employed by a registered, Indiana-based early childhood education or out-of-school care program, as well as household family member and dependents of someone who is employed by such a program.

  • Can my children or household family members access program services?

    Yes, your household family members and dependents are eligible for the program’s services.

  • How do I access services?

    You can access program services 24/7 in several ways including via phone, online or the GuidanceNowSM app. Information about how to do this is provided above.

  • How often can I access services? 

    You are eligible to access services on an ongoing basis at any time during the program’s duration.

  • What happens if I’m accessing services and I leave my position or am terminated?

    If you leave your position for any reason, you may finish any short-term services you are receiving, but you will not be able to access any new services.

  • Will my information or needs be shared with my employer?

    No. The Build, Learn, Grow Building Wellness program is strictly confidential. No information about your participation, nor your family’s, will be shared with your employer, the state of Indiana or any other party.

  • What if my need requires more than short-term services?

    If it is determined that you need longer-term treatment or services, you will be referred to a specialist and your insurance coverage will be activated. If you do not have insurance coverage, you will be connected to services to help find coverage.

  • Where can I go for more information or questions?

    Contact ComPsych with questions at (877) 465-0899.

Closed Initiatives

  • Child Care Closure Grants

    • Time period: Through April 30, 2022
    • Description: Child Care Closure Grants provided support to Family Child Care Home programs facing temporary closure of a classroom or facility due to a positive COVID-19 case.
  • Fundamentals for Business Sustainability Training

    • Time period: Complete by Aug. 31, 2021
    • Description: Required for all programs participating in Indiana’s Build, Learn, Grow program, the “Fundamentals for Business Sustainability” training supported providers with new business management strategies to monitor the financial health of their business.
  • Increased CACFP Reimbursements

    • Time period: CACFP Claims for Meals Provided from May-Sept 2021
    • Description: Programs participating in the CACFP received increased CACFP reimbursements from the state to offer support for increased COVID-related food costs.
  • Onboarding Stipends for New Hires

    • Time period: April 2021-April 30, 2022
    • Description: To support programs in hiring new team members and cover recruitment and onboarding costs, the state issued $400 stipends to child care programs for each new hire.
  • One-Time Equipment and Supply Allowances

    • Time period: May 7-July 31, 2021
    • Description: One-time equipment and supply allowances were made available to programs to help offset increased operating costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Waived Background Check Fees

    • Time period: April 2021-April 30, 2022
    • Description: To support programs in hiring new team members and cover recruitment and onboarding costs, the state waived background check fees for child care programs’ employees.
  • Waived Co-Pays for CCDF Families

    • Time period: March 28, 2021-April 30, 2022
    • Description: CCDF co-pays for families with active CCDF vouchers were waived to provide temporary relief to families, while also reducing collection burdens for programs.