Indiana’s oldest and largest early childhood education nonprofit

Early Learning Indiana provides leadership, advocacy, and early childhood education services to continually improve the early learning landscape in Indiana. We adhere to four guiding initiatives:

  • We operate high-quality child care centers.
  • We help families find quality child care.
  • We partner with teachers and providers to improve program quality.
  • We advocate for greater access to early educational opportunities for all Hoosier families.

Our Mission

The mission of Early Learning Indiana is to ensure the highest level of early care and education for children in Indiana.



We strive for excellence, maintaining the highest standards for the education, development, protection, and care of young children.


We commit to supportive relationships, the foundation for all of our work with children, families and each other.


We work together, recognizing that providing the highest level of service to young children requires collaboration and partnership.


We treat everyone with respect, strengthening the bonds that bring us together, define our culture, and allow us to lead in the wider community.

Rooted in the Past.
Ready for the Future.

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.

Rooted in the Past. Ready for the Future.


Day Nursery Founded

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 Auxiliary Established

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.


Child Care Answers Established

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.


Eight Child Care Centers

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.


A New Name for an Expanded Mission

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.


Partnerships for Early Learners Established

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.


All IN 4 Pre-K Established

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.

Want to join us in advancing Early Learning for Hoosier kids?