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.

Pre 1960s


Westside Neighborhood Center formed with a board of 24 members


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


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


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


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


Organization narrowed its focus to child care


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


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


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)


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


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

Parents as Teachers LogoSeveral 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


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


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


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


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.


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


logo bookbuddiesBook Buddies literacy program was launched


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


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.


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


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


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


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.


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.


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


Agency logo and website were revised


Moved administrative offices to 3800 N Anthony Blvd, at the Ivy Tech Coliseum Campus to better serve clients across 10 northern Indiana counties.


Beacon and Downtown Learning Centers becomes a site partner for the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, providing access to free health care for children in need.


Added new Learning Center support positions to enhance family and teacher support: Director of Early Learning Services, Manager of Birth to Three Services, and Family Advocate. Also launching SparKits, a subscription program for in-home learning experiences.