ECA News

ECA Names New Financial Officer

Dave Allen

Dave Allen has joined the staff of Early Childhood Alliance (ECA) as Chief Financial Officer. He previously worked for BP in Houston, TX, retiring in 2015. Allen earned a bachelor’s degree and an MBA from Indiana University.

Dave Allen

Grads Celebrate

Graduation 2018

Walking down the aisle to traditional graduation music, more than 70 preschoolers were recognized during the celebration on August 1-2. The five- and six-year-olds are enrolled at ECA’s Beacon and Downtown Learning Centers.

Friends and families filled the auditorium, snapping pictures, in honor of their special little ones making the move to kindergarten later this month. Also recognized were the preschool teachers and Center managers for their hard work in preparing the children for success in school.

Both ECA Centers are now enrolling for all age groups. Contact by email by clicking here Leesha Culp or by phone at 260-758-0080.

Graduation 2018

Care Mobile visits Learning Center

Care Mobile

The Ronald McDonald Care Mobile pulled into Beacon Learning Center on August 6, ready to meet the needs of community children all day. The new Care Mobile of Ronald McDonald House Charities focuses on children 0-5 yrs. of age throughout the community. There is no charge for Care Mobile visits, and no appointments are needed.

The Care Mobile staff include a nurse practitioner, nurse and medical assistant providing well check-ups, immunizations, child care physicals, vision and hearing screenings, and more, especially for those families without insurance. One of the goals of the Care Mobile is to get families enrolled with a primary care physician, according to Kara Yackee, nurse practitioner.

The Care Mobile has been making site visits for about a month across northeast Indiana. As families become more familiar with it, there will be more sites scheduled.

Care Mobile

Teachers Join Early Childhood Alliance

Kristina Gaff

New teachers at ECA’s Beacon Street Learning Center are: Kristina Gaff, infant classroom; and Kelly Workman, toddler classroom. Allison Mason and Kayla Zelt have joined the Beacon staff as substitute teachers.

ECA’s Downtown Learning Center also welcomed new teachers: Marla Fauchier in the infant classroom; Nicole Dolan, substitute; and Sarah Rivera, summer program.

Funding Awarded to Child Care Providers

Children Sitting on Floor

Six early education programs in Steuben County have received quality improvement grants, totaling $10,000, thanks to funding support by Steuben County Community Foundation and Early Child Alliance (ECA), the Child Care Resource & Referral agency for Steuben County.

  • Heaven Sent Preschool and Daycare
  • Miss Roxy’s Daycare
  • Little Lambs Daycare Inc.
  • Little Farmers Child Care and Preschool
  • Agape Child Care Ministry
  • Kingdom Kids

Committed to increasing quality for children and families in Steuben County, the six programs will use the grants to help advance in Paths to QUALITYTM (Indiana’s quality rating and improvement system).

Children Sitting on Floor

Zoo Trip Thanks to PNC

PNC Bank

Going on a lion hunt will become a reality for 45 preschool children and their teachers from Early Childhood Alliance (ECA), thanks to PNC and the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo. The 3 ½ – 5-year-olds from ECA’s Downtown Learning Center visited the Zoo in July.

An advocate for early childhood education, PNC is funding the cost of transportation to the zoo as part of PNC’s Grow Up Great initiative that funds learning opportunities to help prepare children for success in school and life.

PNC Bank

Spark a Future Event

Mix more than 150 guests with lively auction bidding, and you get a successful fundraiser for Early Childhood Alliance (ECA). Nearly $112,000 was raised at the annual Spark a Future event at Parkview Field. Featured auction items included furniture pieces custom painted by local artists, vacation getaways, sport packages, and custom jewelry.

Funds raised from the annual event support projects at ECA’s two Learning Centers in Fort Wayne along with family engagement programs for families across northern Indiana. ECA programs and services impact 32,000+ children and their families annually, building better futures for children.

ECA Welcomes New Teachers

New teachers at ECA’s Beacon Street Learning Center are: Pamela Hively, Brandi Rogers and Natasha Williams in Toddler classrooms; Jamie Conwell and Kathleen Wolf in Pre-K classrooms; and Ashlee LeMay, Katie Giant and Karlie Rice as substitute teachers.

ECA’s Downtown Learning Center also welcomed a new teacher recently, Sarai Cuevas in a toddler classroom.

Funding Opportunity for Providers

Have you considered starting or expanding a child care program in Steuben County? A new funding opportunity is now available with an application deadline of June 15, 2018.

Steuben County Community Foundation awarded a grant of $36,080, to Early Child Alliance (ECA), the Child Care Resource & Referral agency in the County, to increase child care capacity. The grant includes $10,000 to help both new and existing child care programs meet requirements to enroll or advance in Paths to QUALITYTM (Indiana’s quality rating and improvement system). Building capacity and increasing quality of programs are critical in meeting the needs of Steuben County families, based on county data.

Programs will be awarded mini grants of $100-$2,000, to be used by the end of the year. Grant requirements and application details are available at

Call Maricela Madden, 260-577-7078 for additional information.

Help Spark a Future for children

Spark a Future 2018 Logo

Vacation getaways, local artist-painted children’s furniture, and custom jewelry are just a few of the special auction items at Spark a Future, on Wednesday, May 23. Purchase your tickets now (at for Early Childhood Alliance’s annual fundraiser for a chance at these items and more. The special event will be held at Parkview Field, 6 – 9:30 pm.

Proceeds from the annual event will support projects at ECA’s two Learning Centers in Fort Wayne and family engagement programs in northern Indiana. Your support makes an impact on hundreds of children and families, building better futures for children.

Spark a Future 2018 Logo