Seymour organization named as one of 19 finalists in competition

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A Seymour child care organization is one of 19 finalists in a statewide $1 million Child Care Desert Competition.

Child Care Network is now eligible to receive up to $100,000 to increase access to high-quality child care for children ages six months to six years, according to a recent announcement by Early Learning Indiana.

The competition is designed to address the fact that more than four of every 10 children in Indiana live in a child care desert.

“For too many Hoosier children and families, high-quality early learning opportunities are out of reach, not just figuratively, but geographically,” said Maureen Weber, who is president and CEO of Early Learning Indiana. “These 19 finalists represent organizations with the most innovative solutions to help us build a stronger network of opportunity to support both working parents and the next generation of the workforce.”

Child care deserts exist in each of the state’s 92 counties, according to a 2018 study conducted by the Indiana Business Research Center and Early Learning Indiana. A child care desert is a neighborhood, town or part of a city where there is no more than one child care seat for every three children. In Indiana, 45.2 percent of children live in a child care desert.

The finalists, which includes schools, child care centers, community organizations and United Way agencies, will submit full applications by Nov. 15.

Early Learning Indiana will announce 10 grant winners in December. The competition is made possible by a 2014 grant from Lilly Endowment Inc.

Child Care Network opened in 1984 as Seymour Area Day-care with the goal of helping children before and after school. It became a nonprofit organization, called Child Care Network, in 1989.

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