September 2023 — Five (5) local United Ways serving infants and toddlers in Indiana – United Way of Allen County, United Way of Grant County, United Way of Greater Cincinnati serving Southeast Indiana, Metro United Way, and United Way of Marshall County – have been announced as direct recipients for the first round of grants in the Early Years Initiative, led by Early Learning Indiana and supported by Lilly Endowment Inc. A sixth local United Way – Crossroads United Way – also received support as part of the Building Strong Brains coalition in Elkhart County. In total, United Ways and their partners across the state have received nearly $2 million in support of work to promote the cognitive, social-emotional, and physical wellbeing of infants and toddlers from low-income families, many of whom are multi-language learners and part of communities of color. According to the Early Learning Indiana, studies show a child’s brain is hardest at work during the first three years of life, busy creating the foundation for all future learning capacity, social-emotional development, and mental and physical health.
United Way mobilizes communities around the world to close gaps and open opportunities so everyone can thrive. United Way believes that investing in high-quality education is among the keys to maximizing the potential of all children, preparing them to succeed both in school and in the workforce.