July 7, 2021

Purdue selects Early Learning Indiana as new child care operator

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Early Learning Indiana will be Purdue’s child care operator when the university opens its new child care facility in August 2022, increasing its child care capacity for children six weeks to 5 years old by nearly one-third.

Purdue’s Board of Trustees received the child care update on Wednesday (July 7).

Early Learning Indiana is a 122-year-old early childhood education nonprofit, the state’s oldest and largest. It offers a child-centered, evidence-based curriculum designed to integrate with the broader educative practices in Indiana. Early Learning Indiana currently operates eight Day Early Learning centers in Indianapolis, serving over 800 children each year, and pursues national accreditation and the highest ranking on Indiana’s Paths to QUALITY rating system for all its centers. In addition to Early Learning Indiana’s role as a provider of high-quality early care and education services, it serves as a statewide advocate for increased access, affordability and quality child care for all Hoosier children. Its chief executive officer, Maureen Weber, previously served as chief operating officer for the Indiana Department of Education.

Chosen following a nationwide selection process, Early Learning Indiana will assume operations at Purdue in January 2022. Early Learning Indiana will be responsible for all day-to-day child care operating costs and will pay rent to help offset the construction cost for the new center and reserves for potential major repairs at the two existing facilities on campus – the Patty Jischke Early Care and Education Center and the Purdue University Early Care and Education Center.

“We are truly honored to have been selected as Purdue University’s partner to provide families and children with the highest-quality early childhood education experiences,” Weber said. “We know that success in school and life starts in the first five years, and we can’t think of a better way to help Purdue University and its families pursue their mission than by ensuring children develop the essential skills they need for a successful start.”

Present tuition rates will be maintained for current families for the first year beginning in January 2022, and future fees will be determined based on state and local benchmarks. This will facilitate access to high-quality care for families across the economic spectrum at Purdue. Tuition rates will not exceed the maximum rate for Child Care and Development fund vouchers.

Purdue has worked to expand child care options over recent years with the Patty Jischke Early Care and Education Center, which opened in 2008, and the Purdue University Early Care and Education Center, which at the time of its opening in 2016 provided a 63% increase in the full-time child care capacity on campus. Including the Ben & Maxine Miller Child Development Laboratory School, Purdue has current capacity for 324 children. The figure will increase by 32% with the new building, which will replace the Patty Jischke Early Care and Education Center.

The new approximately 16,600-square-foot child care center will be built on a two-acre parcel on Kent Avenue in West Lafayette – an ideal location due to its proximity to residential neighborhoods, the Purdue Research Park and commute patterns. Construction is scheduled to begin this fall with completion scheduled for August 2022. Trustees approved the project in December 2019, but the COVID-19 pandemic triggered a construction freeze.

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a top public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked the No. 5 Most Innovative University in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, Purdue delivers world-changing research and out-of-this-world discovery. Committed to hands-on and online, real-world learning, Purdue offers a transformative education to all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, enabling more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap at purdue.edu.

About Early Learning Indiana

Early Learning Indiana is a leading voice in the conversation about the future of early learning and its role in helping to solve K-12 and workforce challenges. Today, Early Learning Indiana operates eight high-quality Day Early Learning centers, a network of premier community-based lab schools used to advance the science of early learning, train the next generation of teachers and leaders, and instill essential skills in the children we serve. Through regional and statewide programs, the organization enables early learning providers to build capacity, transform operations, and improve learning outcomes. More information is available at EarlyLearningIN.org.

Writer: Tom Schott, tschott@purdue.edu

Media Contact: Tim Doty, 765-494-2080, doty2@purdue.edu

Sources: Chris Ruhl

Maureen Weber

Alexis Slate


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