Child Care Resources and Referrals - Creating Access to Quality Child Care in NWI

 

According to the World Health Organization, early childhood is the most important developmental phase in a person's lifespan. Early childhood development—the physical, social-emotional, cognitive and language developmental domains for individuals in their first 5 years of life—influences a person's well-being, mental health, physical health, literacy and numeracy competence, economic participation, and more throughout his or her life. Furthermore, research in early childhood development has shown that early childhood programs not only provide a "critical outlet for fostering the mental and physical development of young children," but access to early childhood developmental and educational opportunities has lasting impacts on their health as an adult. (SourceU.S. Office of Disease prevention and Health Promotion.) 

At Geminus, we recognize all child care is early childhood education, and access to high-quality, affordable early learning is the foundation for success in school and life. That's why Early Learning Connections, a local Indiana child care resource and referral agency, is the leading voice for best practices in child care resources and referrals in Northern Indiana. We work with families, child care professionals, early childhood education programs, schools, non-profit organizations, employers and community leaders to help them gain access to or provide high-quality early childhood education.

Learn more about Early Learning Connections and the changes to our program below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ABOUT GEMINUS CHILD CARE RESOURCES (Early Learning Connections)

Early Learning Connections—a community-based, child care resource and referral agency—provides professional support to educators, families and community members involved in early childhood education and out-of-school-time in Elkhart, Kosciusko, La Grange, Lake, LaPorte, Marshall, Porter, Starke, St. Joseph, and Steuben counties. Through Early Learning Connections, families find information on child care programs that meet their needs, learn how to access quality child care, and gain awareness of community resources. 

Early Learning Connections also partners with child care providers, community members, and organizations to bridge the gap between needs and services, optimize resources, and collect data pertinent Indiana's early childhood education and out-of-school-time programs.

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CHANGES TO EARLY LEARNING CONNECTIONS

As a child care provider, you may have heard about the statewide changes in your support set forth by the Indiana Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning. Starting October 1, Indiana’s child care resource and referral agencies will look different. This means the support from Early Learning Connections, a Geminus child care resource and referral program, will change.

 

ELC PROGRAM CHANGES - CHILD CARE PROVIDER FAQs

After October 1, can I still go Early Learning Connections with questions or support requests?

Beginning October 1, all counties will be served by one of five local child care resource and referral agencies, including Early Learning Connections (ELC). ELC will support Lake, Porter, LaPorte, St. Joseph, Elkhart, La Grange, Steuben, Starke, Marshall, and Kosciusko counties. 

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What about Paths to QUALITY™? Will I still be able to keep my coach?

Starting October 1, coaching supports will transition to Indiana AEYC (IN AEYC). Early Learning Connections will no longer offer coaching and Paths to QUALITY™ (PTQ) supports. IN AEYC will provide support as needed to providers from October 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020. IN AEYC will contact programs participating in PTQ on or after September 13, 2019. Beginning October 1, 2019, IN AEYC can be contacted by email or phone for questions related to Paths to QUALITY ™ at PTQ@INAEYC.org or 1-855-484-2392, extension 3546.

Spark Learning Lab will implement Paths to QUALITY™ coaching starting July 1, 2020.

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Will the support I receive from a Spark Learning Lab coach stay the same?

You will receive additional information in the coming months about how to participate in a self-assessment. The assessment will determine your program’s level of support. Based on the results, your support may look like one of the following:

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I’m considering opening a child care business. Is Early Learning Connections still the right place to start?

Yes! Our dedication to supporting professionals receiving licensure continues into 2020 and beyond. Please contact your local CCR&R representative for more information on next steps.


Thank you for your continued dedication to Indiana’s children and families. For more information on Indiana’s Statewide Early Childhood and Out-of-School Quality Supports, including Spark Learning Lab and CCR&R transitions, visit https://www.in.gov/fssa/carefinder/5713.htm

 

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ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

For Child Care Providers                                   
For Parents

 


Resources for Child Care Providers

Early childhood professional organizations

Association for Childhood Education International
Association for Christian Schools International
Child Care Aware
Division for Early Childhood
Indiana Association for the Education of Young Children
Indiana Afterschool Network
National Afterschool Association
National Association for the Education of Young Children
National Head Start Association

Accreditation of child care programs

Association of Christian Schools International
National Afterschool Association
Indiana Association for the Education of Young Children
National Association for the Educaton of Young Children
National Association for Family Child Care
National Early Childhood Program Accredtation
Council on Accreditation

Child protective services

Child Abuse Hotline 
Indiana Department of Child Services
Mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect resources

Meal assistance for child care providers

Geminus Daily Bread
Little Buns
DCMI
4C's

Paths-to-Quality (voluntary quality rating system for Indiana child care)

What is Paths to QUALITY?
Find Paths to QUALITY providers

Paying for child care (Child Care Development Voucher Fund)

About Child Care Development Voucher Fund (CCDF)

CCDF Reimbursement Rates

Resources for becoming a certified Unlicensed CCDF Provider:
CCDF Provider Eligibility Standards
Download a CCDF Provider Eligibility application
Frequently Asked Questions

CCDF Policy Consultants & Intake Offices

CCDF Manuals:
CCDF Policy & Procedure Manual
CCDF Provider Manual

Pre-K programs for child care providers

Geminus Head Start Child Care Partnership Program
On My Way Pre-K

Professional development scholarships and training

Indiana Learning Paths
I-LEAD

Research and data

IACCRR Data Center

Resources for approved On My Way Pre-K providers

4C of Southern Indiana, Inc.

Rules and regulations for child care providers

For Centers:
Child Care Center Licensing Rules
Child Care Center Licensing Rules Interpretive Guide
Child Care Center Interpretative Guide Changes Effective 7/1/13

For Homes:
Child Care Home Rules
Chld Care Home Licensing Rules Interpretive Guide
Child Care Home Interpretative Guide Changes Effective 6/1/13

For Ministries:
Child Care Registered Day Care Ministries Rules
Chlid Care Unlicensed Registered Ministries Interpretive Guide

For Voluntary Certification Programs:
Voluntary Certification Program Interpretive Guide
Voluntary Certification Program Standard

General Information:
Instructions for National Criminal History Checks

Starting a child care business

Resources for Child Care Providers

 

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Resources for Parents

Accreditation of child care programs

Association of Christian Schools International
National Afterschool Association
Indiana Association for the Education of Young Children
National Association for the Educaton of Young Children
National Association for Family Child Care
National Early Childhood Program Accredtation
Council on Accreditation

Best practices

American Academy of Pediatrics
American Public Health Association
Center for Disease Control
Consumer Safety Product Commission
Indiana Core Knowledge and Competencies
National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education

Child protective services and domestic violence resources

Child Abuse Hotline 
Geminus Abuse Intervention Management
Indiana Department of Child Services
Mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect resources
Policy Makers
ZERO TO THREE

Infants and toddlers

Infancy Onward (Infant and toddler mental health)
Indiana Perinatal Quality Improvement Collaborative

Paths-to-Quality (voluntary quality rating system for Indiana child care)

What is Paths to QUALITY?
Find Paths to QUALITY providers

Paying for child care (Child Care Development Voucher Fund)

About Child Care Development Voucher Fund (CCDF)
CCDF Reimbursement Rates

CCDF Policy Consultants & Intake Offices

 

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CONTACT EARLY LEARNING CONNECTIONS

Local: 219.685.1500        

Toll Free: 844.685.1500         

Complaint Hotline: 800.299.1627

Fax: 219.738.5283           

Email: theconnectionsccrr@gmail.com

 

Office Hours:
Monday-Thursday: 8AM-5PM
Friday: 8AM-4:30PM

 

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Serving Northwest and Northern Indiana, Regional Health Systems supports programs in Benton, Jasper, Lake, LaPorte, Newton, Porter, Pulaski and Starke Counties and manages facilities in Cedar Lake, East Chicago, Gary, Hammond, Highland, Hobart, Lake Station, Merrillville, Valparaiso and Whiting, Indiana.

Our network of community-based health care and social services welcomes Indiana residents of all ages and income levels with fully integrated, streamlined services.

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