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All children deserve access to an education that enables them to define their own life paths. We believe this starts with the opportunity to receive a quality early childhood education.
The City of Indianapolis, the State of Indiana, and the corporate and philanthropic community are partnering to provide children from low-income families with quality preschool. (To learn more about income qualifications, click here.) The Indy Preschool Scholarship Program (IndyPSP) is available to both 3- and 4-year-old children. The state program, On My Way Pre-k, is available to 4-year-old children. Due to the high demand and limited number of scholarships available, eligible children will be entered into a lottery. Families selected to receive a scholarship will be notified by mail in April. This mailing will also contain next steps to complete enrollment.
The window for 2017-18 school year applications has now closed.
For more information or questions about applications, please contact the Children’s Bureau via email or call the assistance hotline at 1-800-299-1627.
A search tool for providers is available here. Approved programs may be located in a public or private school, licensed child care center, licensed home or registered ministry. Families may choose from a program that is full or part-day, as well as from programs that end with the school year or continue through the summer.
After being selected for a scholarship, families who need help finding an approved program can call 1-800-299-1627 for personal assistance from an early learning referral specialist. Once a provider is chosen, families who have received scholarships will complete the enrollment process with the Children’s Bureau by calling (317) 545-5281 or (866) 287-2420.
More information on each of the scholarship programs is available below.
The Indy Preschool Scholarship Program (IndyPSP) provides free scholarships for children from low-income families to attend quality preschools.
Children between the ages of 3 and 4 who are from families living at or below 185% of the Federal Poverty Level may be eligible for an IndyPSP scholarship.
First priority will be given to children from families living at or below 127% of the Federal Poverty Level. Selected families may choose to send their child to any of the approved program providers, see above for guidelines.
The United Way of Central Indiana serves as the program administrator. For more information, read about the United Way of Central Indiana. Funding for the IndyPSP comes from the City of Indianapolis and our corporate and philanthropic community.
Marion County is participating along with 4 other counties in the State’s pre-k pilot program, On My Way Pre-k.
The program provides free scholarships for low-income 4-year-olds from families living at or below 127% of the Federal Poverty Level to attend quality pre-kindergarten programs.
Families of 4-year-old children that fill out an application will be automatically considered for both IndyPSP and On My Way Pre-k. There is no need to fill out multiple applications. 3-year-old children will only be considered for scholarships from IndyPSP.
Funding for On My Way Pre-k comes from the State of Indiana and is administered by the Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning (OECOSL) under the Indiana Family & Social Services Administration (FSSA). For more information on the State program or other participating counties, visit On My Way Pre-k for details.
United Way of Central Indiana administers the Indy Preschool Scholarship Program. It was chosen in part because of its record of overall effectiveness, trust and accountability in collective impact initiatives. Additionally, United Way is recognized as an early advocate for and investor in increasing both the supply of and the demand for high quality early childhood education throughout Central Indiana. Promoting strong educational and societal outcomes for children is essential to United Way’s overall mission: helping more people become thriving, self-sufficient and contributing members of the community. The organization is always seeking more partners to invest their time, financial support and advocacy for early learning as a means to that end. Visit United Way of Central Indiana to learn more.
The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) is responsible for administering programs that provide healthcare and other social services to Hoosiers in need. The Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning (OECOSL) under the FSSA administers the State’s pre-k pilot program, On My Way Pre-k. The vision of OECOSL is that every community has a strong network of Early Care and Education and Out-of-School time programs that support the child, the family and local schools. The OECOSL maintains other programs, like Paths to QUALITYTM and the Early Learning Advisory Committee, that further quality, affordable and accessible programs for children in Indiana. For more information, visit the FSSA website.
The Children’s Bureau, Inc. is a private, non-profit that works in partnership with the Indiana Department of Child Services and other organizations statewide. The Children’s Bureau initiatives focus on advocating for all children and families, focusing on those that are at-risk. It was chosen as the intake agent for the Indy PSP and On My Way Pre-k for its commitment and experience in serving at-risk populations. Currently, the Children’s Bureau provides services in 47 counties to more than 43,000 children annually. For more information, visit the Children’s Bureau website.