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Little Norse Preschool Receives $20,000 grant to “Come Back Stronger”

Early Learning Indiana recently awarded a $20,000 grant to Metro North Elementary School’s Little Norse Preschool as part of the $15 million Come Back Stronger Fund, supported by Lilly Endowment, to reinforce Indiana’s supply of high-quality early learning opportunities, especially for the state’s most vulnerable children. Little Norse Preschool will use the grant funds to support safety-related expenses and challenges as it continues to serve families in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The health and safety of our children, families, and staff is our top priority,” said Metro North’s Principal Janette Moore. “In order for our community to come back stronger from the pandemic, high-quality early education is extremely important, and we’re committed to supporting families who need child care by providing a safe and educational environment.”

Through the generous support of Early Indiana and the Come Back Stronger fund, Little Norse Preschool will purchase additional classroom materials and add a staff member to assist in the two preschool classrooms during times when limiting group size is necessary. The funding ensures Little Norse students will continue to create, connect, pretend, explore, sing, dance, and build, all while learning about their world in a developmentally-appropriate way that best prepares them for kindergarten and beyond.

“The pandemic has shone a light on the critical role early care and education providers play in our society,” said Early Learning Indiana President and CEO Maureen Weber. “Families need quality preschool in order to go back to work, and children need safe and engaging environments to grow and learn. We’re grateful to Little Norse’s commitment to providing a high-quality environment, and we’re excited to see what they and the other 154 providers do with their Come Back Stronger Fund grants.”

Early Learning Indiana awarded a total of $2,341,000 to 155 providers in this first round of grant awards. Little Norse Preschool was required to submit a narrative on how it would use the grant funds and serve children from vulnerable populations, as well as meet the following criteria:

  • Be a licensed and registered center, ministry, or family child care home provider in Indiana in good standing
  • Be an approved CCDF or On My Way Pre-K provider or a provider that otherwise serves children from vulnerable family populations, defined as households at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level
  • Operate as a Paths to QUALITY™ Level 3 or 4, or as a Paths to QUALITY™ Level 2 with a demonstrated commitment to achieving a higher level of program quality
  • Serve children ages 0-5