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Marshall County working to boost quality, affordable childcare

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PLYMOUTH, Ind. – Marshall County is taking steps towards more affordable early education options after receiving grant money from the state.

Indiana’s Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning awarded 12 counties in Indiana with a total of $1.4 million in early education capacity-building grants. Marshall County received the most with $239,744.

“We couldn’t be more pleased about this amazing opportunity to build on the work Marshall County early childhood care providers are doing to provide a solid educational foundation for our young children,” said Linda Yoder, the executive director of the Marshall County Community Foundation.

The grant will go to seven different providers in Marshall County including Argos Little Dragons Preschool, Bremen Preschool, Carey’s Child Care Inc., Culver Elementary School, Small Wonders Center Location in Plymouth, Triton Elementary School, and Max’s Playhouse.

"Mixed delivery is a huge issue when we talk to families about what they need,” said Yoder. “Some like faith-based programs, others like home-based programs, others like centers, and others want the public school setting. All of those are good choices, and what we want to do through this is make sure that parents have those choices that work best for them.”

The capacity building grants will be used for training and professional development for staff, improved classroom materials, and family engagement activities. It will also help programs reach Paths to QUALITY levels 3 or for, which several of the providers are currently working towards.

In addition to adding more options for quality, affordable childcare, Yoder says the money will be good for local employers.

"I get equally excited about what this means for our businesses that are struggling to find the needs that their employees have for affordable childcare,” she said. “Some of our employers have even thought about starting their own preschool programs the need was so desperate, but this is a great solution."

Yoder says she has not been given an exact date, but anticipates the money to come into the county soon.

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