History

For more than half a century, Early Childhood Alliance has provided programs and services to meet the early childhood education needs of children, first in Fort Wayne/Allen County, and today across northern Indiana.

timeline_pre_loader
Pre 1960s

1941

Westside Neighborhood Center formed with a board of 24 members

1953

Incorporated and joined the Fort Wayne Community Chest (United Way of Allen County)

1957

Organization’s first day care center was built in a public housing development serving low income families
1960s-1980s

1963

Name changed to Neighbors, Inc. to reflect the services, such as outreach and assistance to older adults, large families and young married students with pre-school children

1966

Constructed child care center in Riverhaven, deeded to community organization in 1999, named Blaising Community Center.

1969

Organization narrowed its focus to child care

1971

Renamed Child Care of Allen County. Within three years, the organization operated four child care centers and received government funding for low-income families to attend

1974

Office moved to W. Wayne St.; assumed responsibility for Old Fort YMCA Child Care, named Bernard Harrison Child Care Center.

1979

CACFP LogoApproached by the State of Indiana to sponsor the food program for family child care homes, a service which continues today as the Child & Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)

1981

Contracted with state social service (Title XX) to sponsor family day care

1984

Child Care Resource and Referral (CCRR) service began in 6 counties
1990s

logo_patbwSeveral new programs were added or expanded: Parents as Teachers, Professional Training, Mentoring and Corporate Consultation

Moved office to N. Wells St. (at YWCA)

Training department began offering classes for the Child Development Associate certification, a new educational requirement for early childhood teachers

1996

Child care center support services started in counties served by Dekko Foundation

1997

eca_logo_pre2015Name changed to Early Childhood Alliance to reflect the broader range of services for children/families, early childhood professionals and corporations

1998

Learning Centers achieved accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children
2000s

2000

Downtown Learning Center was built after a $2 million campaign. The Learning Centers were then consolidated from six to three locations: north at Gethsemane Church, downtown on Wayne Street and southeast on Turtle Creek Drive.

2000

Paths to QUALITY, a quality indicator system created by the Child Care and Early Education Partnership (which included ECA), was launched in Allen County; it expanded to five more counties in 2001

2003

logo bookbuddiesBook Buddies literacy program was launched

2004

Better Baby Care and Inclusion Specialists were added to Child Care Resource and Referral staff

2005

Child Care Resource and Referral (CCRR) service achieved national accreditation, Indiana’s first; ECA’s CCR&R service region included Allen, DeKalb, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben and Whitley Counties.

2007

Downtown Learning Center achieved High Scope accreditation serving as a demonstration site for the HighScope curriculum

After-school program began at the Downtown Learning Center

2008

logo ptq notag smallPaths to QUALITYTM (created by a local partnership, including ECA) was adopted by the State of Indiana as the quality rating and improvement system for Indiana child care programs
2010s

2010

Became partner with Parkview Health to manage Parkview’s child care center on Beacon Street

2012

Added four counties to service delivery area when state reduced the number of CCR&R service regions from 11 to 9. The addition of Elkhart, Kosciusko, Marshall, and St. Joseph Counties expanded ECA’s region to 10 counties.

2014

Early Learning Indiana named ECA a strategic partner to strengthen … state. ECA efforts are focused on northern Indiana, along with 4C of Southern Indiana (Evansville), and Child Care Answers (Indianapolis) in central Indiana.

2014-15

logo_omwpkAllen County was one of five Indiana counties chosen for a state-supported, pilot pre-k program, On My Way Pre-K; both of ECA’s Learning Centers are participating, enrolling eligible 4-year-olds

2015

Optimized logoAgency logo and website were revised