A groundbreaking ceremony was held recently to kick off the construction and renovation of the new Montgomery County Early Learning Center. This transformational community project will provide 124 high-quality childcare seats for infants through age five. The Center is located in the former county government office building located at 110 W South Boulevard, Crawfordsville, IN. The building will be completely remodeled and adapted to meet and exceed state licensing requirements. The Center will be equipped with furnishings, equipment, and safety upgrades to meet Paths to Quality Level 4, and meet accreditation standards for the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Representatives from investors in the Montgomery County Early Learning Center

KinderCare will operate the Early Learning Center. KinderCare provides high-quality education to children in a safe and reliable environment with qualified staff. They have more than 50 years of experience providing early childhood care and education combined with expertise in child development and research-based curriculum designed specifically for young children. KinderCare also has the most nationally accredited early learning centers of any private provider in the country.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Montgomery County Community Foundation, employers throughout the region, and the families of Crawfordsville as we work together to increase access to quality child care and early learning in this community,” Patrick Murray, KinderCare Vice President, shared. “This center and the incredible leadership by MCCF to make this partnership possible, will undoubtedly serve as a model to communities across the country. I cannot tell you how proud and honored we are to have been selected to serve the growing families and support the growing economy here in Montgomery County.”

The initial groundwork for the Center actually began a few years ago. In 2019, a childcare task force comprised of individuals representing local government, employers, providers, parents, schools, and nonprofit organizations formed to address the lack of high-quality childcare in our community. While our current childcare educators are committed to providing high-quality education and support, the fact remains that we need more high-quality seats. As of now, we are able to serve less than 20% of our children under the age of five with high-quality care. This is a serious issue affecting employers, employees, families, and our community as a whole.

MCCF CEO Kelly Taylor explains the development of the Montgomery County Early Learning Center

The Montgomery County Community Foundation (MCCF) identified work in this area of childcare as a top strategic initiative, and a top priority in grantmaking. As MCCF began to look for opportunities to expand childcare seats in our community, they wanted to focus on innovative and creative solutions. Now after months of discussions and planning, this transformational project for our community is a reality. The Montgomery County Early Learning Center is an investment in our greatest asset – our children. Kelly Taylor, MCCF CEO, stated, “This new facility is about laying the foundation for a brighter future. It’s a wise investment in our children’s future and provides an exceptional environment for them to thrive.”

The Center is an example of positive change for our community, and one that will provide benefits that reach far into the future. This $5 million investment is only possible through the unique partnership of businesses, government, and philanthropy working together to create long-term, sustainable solutions to meet the critical need for additional high-quality childcare. Partnerships in this endeavor include: Acuity Lighting, City of Crawfordsville, DES Engineering, Early Learning Indiana, Hoosier Heartland State Bank, Lakeside Book Company, Montgomery County government, Montgomery County Community Foundation, North Central Health Services, Nucor, Penguin Random House, State of Indiana, Tempur Sealy, Tipmont, Tri-County Bank & Trust, and Wabash College.

Click here for more photos from the Montgomery County Early Learning Center Groundbreaking Ceremony