Early Education

Like for many rural communities around the United States, access to early childhood education (0-5 years) is crucial for the future growth and economic strength of Wabash County.  

By investing in our youngest residents, we ensure a brighter future with a well-prepared, skilled workforce that can drive local economic growth. Moreover, quality early education programs foster strong community ties and help create a supportive environment for all families in Wabash County.

Contact Us | First Five Wabash County | United StatesFirst Five Wabash County

The vision of First Five of Wabash County is to revitalize the community, so it can thrive long term. Their mission is to transform our community by connecting school readiness to economic success for Wabash County.

First Five of Wabash County has Five main goals they hope to accomplish:

  • Increase Capacity ​
  • Increase Accessibility
  • Improve Quality
  • Increase Affordability
  • Increase Parent and Community Engagement

Visit the First Five Wabash County website here.


Wabash County Discounted Child Care Program

The Community Foundation of Wabash County has received a  $750,000 grant from the State of Indiana from the Employer-Sponsored Child Care Fund.

For up to one year, licensed childcare centers, ministries, and homes in Wabash County will offer discounts on fees to families who are employed by a member of Grow Wabash County or Manchester Alive

Eligible families will receive 50% off or more on their total tuition costs. This is for all current and new enrolled children.

Eligibility Requirements:

  1. Work for an employer who belongs to one of two economic chambers in Wabash County, either Manchester Alive or Grow Wabash County.
  2. Attend, or plan to attend, one of the licensed child care centers in Wabash County.
  3. Pay half (50%) the cost of child care for each child in the family who is enrolled in a community child care center.
    1. Children who attend our low-cost school programs will receive a $1,000 discount on preschool.
  4. Not be participating in the state voucher program for early childhood education

NOTE: This program NO LONGER has an income cap. All employees of chamber member companies or organizations can get a 50% discount on childcare, regardless of their income.

These discounts will be available on a first come, first served basis to qualified families and will end when the grant has been expended. Discounts for multiple children in the same family will be calculated individually, using the same formula. Discounts are effective until the end of June 2025.

How to Enroll: Enrollment forms for discounted childcare costs can be found at any of the licensed childcare providers in Wabash County listed below.  Spanish applications are available from childcare programs.

Note: The children of childcare workers are eligible for discounts if the licensed childcare provider that the parent works for is a member investor of Manchester Alive or Grow Wabash County. The child of a childcare worker must be enrolled in a licensed center, ministry, or home, including the program where the parent is employed.

Licensed Child Care Providers:

  • First Friends Childcare Ministry, Wabash First United Methodist Church, 260-563-7665
  • LaFontaine Learning Community (LaFontaine), 765-371-2044
  • Manchester Early Learning Center (Manchester), 260-982-4913
  • The Montessori School at the Presbyterian Church (Wabash), 260-563-8881
  • Little Norse Preschool (MSDWC Schools), north, 260-563-8050
  • Little Knights (MSDWC Schools), south, 260-563-8050
  • Manchester Elementary School (Manchester Community Schools), 260-982-7541
  • L. H. Carpenter Early Childhood Center (Wabash City Schools), 260-374-3330
  • St. Paul’s Countyline Child Care Ministry (Andrews), 260-224-7111
  • Westminster Pre-School (Wabash), 260-330-7200
  • Cradles, Cribs & Crayons & Cribs Childcare, LLC (Wabash), 260-571-4716
  • Little Hands Big Hearts (Wabash), 260-571-5340
  • Busy Bee Hive (North Manchester), 260-578-2413

Find a licensed provider near you via Indiana Child Care Finder.