For more than 100 years, Early Learning Indiana was known as Day Nursery. Under that name, we spent more than a century building a reputation as Central Indiana’s standard-bearer for excellent child care.
Founded by the King’s Daughters Society in 1899, Day Nursery was originally established to provide child care for working mothers at a time when such services were scarce. Over the course of the next several decades, Day Nursery underwent a number of changes, and a great deal of growth.
Day Nursery has long enjoyed great support from Day Nursery Auxiliary, which was established in 1938. The Auxiliary’s mission, then and now, was to raise money for the organization, provide volunteer services to its centers, and promote its work to the community.
In 1985, Day Nursery began providing support and training for family child care home providers. It also instituted a resource and referral service for parents. Together these services, managed and operated by the Day Nursery Association, became collectively known as Child Care Answers.
Meanwhile, Day Nursery continued to grow, adding new locations throughout the city. By 2013, Day Nursery was home to eight child care centers in Indianapolis, and was widely regarded as the area’s most reputable and qualified nonprofit child care provider.
In 2014, Day Nursery changed its name to Early Learning Indiana, and our early childhood centers became known as Day Early Learning Centers. As Early Learning Indiana, our goal is to continue our tradition of being the area’s best source for child care services and resources, while embracing a larger role as an advocate and leading voice for early childhood education in Indiana. At the same time, the Board of Early Learning Indiana officially changed the organization’s mission to reflect a statewide focus.
Building on the organization’s new statewide focus, in late 2014, Early Learning Indiana was awarded a $20 million grant from the Lilly Endowment to expand access and quality of early childhood education all across the state through a new initiative called Partnerships for Early Learners. The grant supports quality improvement, capacity-building, workforce development, family engagement and innovation and leadership efforts all across the state.
In 2016, in partnership with United Way of Central Indiana, Early Learning Indiana helped to create and launch All IN 4 Pre-K, a new coalition of families, community advocates and business leaders working together to expand access to high-quality pre-K in Indiana.
Through powerful partnerships and passionate leadership, we aim to make our children and communities stronger through the enormous power of early learning.
For a more in-depth history of Early Learning Indiana, download this PDF.