Our Why

Congratulations to our LaunchPad Family Friendly Business award recipient, Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation!In August 2022, Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation opened an infant-toddler program for children of their teachers and staff. They saw a need for quality and affordable childcare options for their employees and have found an impactful solution. The program is called Valley Early Learning academy, also known as VELA.Currently, VELA is housed at Mentone Elementary School and has the capacity for 18 children ranging in age from infants to three years old. Next year, they will be moving to a new location and will open the program to the community. This will increase their capacity to 36 children. Currently, VELA has two full time employees and one part time employee.

LaunchPad Home About Us Childcare Providers

The Issues

  • Currently, in Kosciusko County, there is a shortage of 1,500 childcare spots.
  • A single parent in Kosciusko County spends 46% of his/her income on quality childcare.
  • Low and moderate income families cannot afford the cost of care, which can be $10,000 or more per year for one child.
  • Just over half of Kosciusko County’s childcare spots are considered high quality according to Indiana’s rating system, called Paths to Quality.
  • Early childhood education is one of the lowest paying professions. While regulations call for more education for teachers, wages are low and benefits are negligible.
    Kosciusko County Data  2018 Statistics Current   Fall 2022
    Children under the age of 5         6,276
    Children under the age of 5 who need care         3,000   3,679
    Children under 5 years old enrolled in known programs         1,197   1,354      1,545
    Children under 5 enrolled in high-quality programs            356      676         822



  • The current model of childcare is flawed. If programs want to pay their teachers a living wage, they must raise their childcare rates.
  • When businesses invest in programs:
    • Quality goes up
    • Care becomes affordable
    • Teachers receive a living wage/benefits
    • Employees are able to work and productivity goes up
    • Children receive what they need to succeed!

Early Learning

  • Early learning experiences build brain architecture and the foundation of all future learning.
  • It is easier and less costly to form strong brain circuits in the early years than to try to heal the brain later on.