Research details the significance of development during a child’s early years. The foundations for future success are built through interactions with others and the environment. Formal and informal early learning opportunities spur the young child’s development. Indiana has a wide range of early childhood programs: developmental preschool, Head Start, licensed childcare centers, licensed family child care homes, public community preschools, Title I preschools, and unlicensed registered ministries.
The Office of Early Childhood and Out of School Learning (OECOSL) provides oversight of all childcare licensing, Indiana’s tiered quality rating and improvement system, Paths to Quality™, and the State’s pre-k initiative and On My Way Pre-K. within the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) The Office of Special Education (OSE) works very closely with these other offices to ensure students with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) are provided a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) through coordinated efforts across preschool settings based on wishes of the family.
The Indiana Department of Education also supports young learners through various initiatives including: The Foundations, Indiana’s early learning development framework, the Indiana Birth to Age 5 Literacy Framework, and the ISPROUT assessment tool. Additionally, the IDOE provides support and guidance to public schools who are looking to open or expand their early childhood programs and professional development.