Working together through continuous learning to improve the quality of life for all in DeKalb County, Indiana
An education initiative of the Community Foundation of DeKalb County

Early Childhood Learning Resources

Programs & Services

Before 5.Org

Phone: 260-316-2661

Contact: Diane Shoppell, Teachable Moment Mentor

Experience shows that it’s one thing to tell parents about Teachable Moments and a whole different thing to show them. Once parents see Teachable Moments in action and understand the ‘whys’ behind them, they really buy into the importance of daily learning opportunities. Before5 has Teachable Moment mentors available to connect those dots for parents. Please feel free to contact Diane at any time to schedule a demonstration for parents or staff.



Programs vary depending on location. Contact your favorite library for more information:

Butler Public Library, 260-868-2351

Eckhart Public Library, 260-925-2414

Garrett Public Library, 260-357-5485

Waterloo-Grant Township Public Library, 260-837-4491


Bowen Center

923 Cardinal Ct.; Auburn, IN 46706

Phone: 260-925-8035 or toll free 1-800-342-5653

Bowen Center provides a variety of services for children, adolescents, and adults. Bowen Center has a specialized social skills group, 1 to 1 home-based services that target parenting, development, and communication skills.



209 N. Jackson Street; Auburn, IN 46706

Phone: 260-423-3546

Weekly workshops on life skills.

Brightpoint helps communities, families, and individuals remove the causes and conditions of poverty.


Butler Elementary School

1025 S. Broadway; Butler, IN 46721

Phone: 260-868-2123


Butler Public Library

340 S. Broadway Street; Butler, IN 46721

Phone: 260-868-2351


Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

Phone: 1-800-232-4636

Skills such as taking a first step, smiling for the first time, and waving “bye-bye” are called developmental milestones. Children develop at their own pace, so it’s impossible to tell exactly when a child will learn a given skill. As a parent, you know your child best. If your child is not meeting the milestones for his or her age, or if you think there could be a problem with your child’s development, talk with your child’s doctor and share you concerns.


Child Care Search

Choosing Child Care is a big decision! Click the button to the left to take part in a convenient online Child Care Search. After you have completed the registration and entered your search criteria you will be shown a list of child care providers.

Children First Center

1754 Wesley Road; Auburn, IN 46706 Phone: 260-925-3865 or toll free 1-800-824-2698 Contact: Maria Manuel-Slone

Healthy Families

For families of newborns, this program provides support, reassurance and essential information for children’s healthy growth and development.

Helping Others Meet Expectations (H.O.M.E.)

The H.O.M.E. (Helping Others Meet Expectations) program works with parents and children age birth to eighteen years who are involved with the Department of Child Services (DCS). The program assists families in enhancing their parenting skills or conquering other challenges in order to preserve the family unit. The H.O.M.E. program is designed to support clients and guide them in parenting education, thus enabling them to protect and care for their children. A Family Support Worker provides services through weekly home visits.

Network For Safe Families

The Network provides home-based case management and resource referral for parents seeking help with the day-to-day challenges of raising children, of meeting basic needs or coping with personal or family crises. This program is for families who are not involved in DCS. Self referral welcomed. Call 260-421-5000 or go to

The Nurturing Parent

Home based parenting class for families of children, ages birth to 10 years. A 10-session program is provided in the family home.

Redirecting Children’s Behavior

Course runs five weeks, one night a week for 3 hours (15 hours total). Focuses on understanding your child’s behavior, building a good relationship and exploring alternatives for dealing with misbehavior. For anyone living or working with children of all ages. Cost is $25 per person, or $40 per couple. Workshops of varying lengths and topics based on the series are also available. Scholarships may be available upon request.

Country Meadow Elementary School

2410 County Road 10; Ashley, IN 46705 Phone: 260-920-1017


Phone: 855-927-7963 Crosswinds is a faith-based organization, created to provide everyday families with the resources and options they might need to overcome unique family situations and struggles. Their in-home family counseling staff will come to your home, provide help, and work with you to strengthen your family.

DeKalb County Central United School District

3326 County Road 427; Waterloo, IN 46793 Phone: 260-920-1011

DeKalb County Division of Family Resources (FSSA)

507 N. Grandstaff Dr.; Auburn, IN 46706 In the old Scotts plaza next to Oriental Gourmet Toll Free: 1-800-403-0864 FSSA offers assistance in the forms of: SNAP (food assistance), TANF (cash assistance), IMPACT (job training), and Medicaid/Health Plans.

DeKalb County Domestic Violence Task Force

Phone: 260-908-6119 Contact: Judy Strock Domestic Violence Task Force is crisis intervention for victims of domestic violence.

DeKalb Eastern School District

300 E. Washington Street; Butler, IN 46721 Phone: 260-868-2125

DeKalb Health

1316 East 7th Street; Auburn, IN 46706 Phone: 260-925-4600 ext. 2780

Child Safety Seat Inspection Services

As a free service to the community, DeKalb Health is proud to be one of only a few nationally recognized child safety seat fitting stations in Northeast Indiana to offer child safety seat inspections by certified technicians. Call 260-920-2551 for appointment.

Healthy Expectations

Healthy Expectations is a free program designed to help ensure the development of healthy babies by providing information for the prevention of birth defects. Throughout the entire pregnancy, participants receive free prenatal vitamins, as well as physician referrals if needed.


Prenatal classes assist new mothers and their families in the preparation for the changes they will experience. Free to mothers using DeKalb Family Birthplace.

Breastfeeding Class

This one session class taught by a certified lactation consultant is designed to help you better understand the benefits of breastfeeding and what to expect. Learn about positioning techniques, hunger cues, milk storage, nutrition, pumping, managing problems, returning to work, breast care and much more. Cost: $5.00 Class is held from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. one evening per month.

DeKalb Pregnancy Center

903 Cardinal Ct.; Auburn, IN 46706 Phone: 260-925-3267 Contact: Marcia Provines Website: DeKalb Pregnancy Center is a pregnancy resource center offering prenatal and early parenting curriculum as well as referral to doctors, insurance, and other agencies. They offer free pregnancy testing as well as a coupon-incentive program where clients can earn points by attending or being involved in various prenatal and parenting programs in the area. They can redeem these coupons for needed items for their baby.

Department of Child Services

934 W. 15th St.; Auburn, IN 46706 Phone: 260-925-2810 Child abuse and neglect hotline: 1-800-800-5556 Contact Wesley A. Husselman DeKalb County Department of Child Services investigates reports made by anyone, or agency, involving suspected maltreatment of youth ages birth to 18.

Early Childhood Alliance

Phone: 1-800-423-1498 ext. 2484 Contact: Lanissa Maggert

Parent E-Book Club

The ECA on-line parent book club is now reading “Raising Your Spirited Child” by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka. This book is a guide for parents whose child is more intense, sensitive, persistent, perceptive, and energetic. Connect with other parents on-line each week to discuss chapters in the book, share ideas and gain insight from other parents who have been there!

Child Care Resources And Referral

Early Childhood Alliance is one of 11 child care resource and referral agencies in Indiana. Child care referrals are available at no cost to families in northeast Indiana. Families are assisted in making well-informed decisions about child care, including information on Paths to QUALITY, the statewide child care rating system. Referrals are available by phone (800-423-1498) or on-line at Specialized referrals are available for families of infants and toddlers, children with special needs or Spanish speaking families.

Child Care Search
Choosing Child Care is a big decision! Click the button to the left to take part in a convenient online Child Care Search. After you have completed the registration and entered your search criteria you will be shown a list of child care providers.

Eckhart Public Library

603 S. Jackson Street; Auburn, IN 46706

Phone: 260-925-2414


Family Table

Phone: 260-456-4511

Visit for resources, recipes and ideas for making the family meal a habit in your house. Sponsored by the McMillen Center for Health Education.


First Steps of Northeast Indiana

Phone: 866-725-2398

First Steps is a state wide program of Early Intervention Services for Infants and Toddlers who are showing developmental delays, or who have a diagnosed condition that is likely to result in developmental delays. For more information or to make a referral to the program, call for more information or visit the website for the local First Steps cluster at


Follow the Reader

Phone: 260-423-6447

Follow the Reader is a highly engaging, highly interactive free online instructional series of five programs (each 30 minutes or less) designed to help parents, mentors, early childhood learning providers and tutors help young children become strong readers.


Garrett-Keyser-Butler Community School District

801 E. Houston Street; Garrett, IN 46738

Phone: 260-357-3185


Garrett-Keyser-Butler Head Start and Early Head Start

504 South Second Street; Garrett, IN 46738

Phone: 260-837-4211

Contact: Sharon Molargik or Karen Rice

GKB Head Start and Early Head Start programs provide comprehensive health, social services and education programs to pregnant women, infants, children, 0- 5 years, and their families in DeKalb County with incomes at or below federal poverty guidelines and families with children with disabilities.


Garrett Public Library

107 W. Houston Street; Garrett, IN 46738

Phone: 260-357-5485


Great Kids Make Great Communities

Phone: 260-449-7272

Contact: Nancy Springer, Coordinator

Great Kids Make Great Communities offers training and support to ANYONE working with youth and families in Northeast Indiana. Their mission is to provide appropriate, research-based best practices to a wide variety of child champions.


Greater Fort Wayne Family

Phone: 260-347-0400

For a free subscription to the Greater Fort Wayne Family magazine, visit the website listed above, or call toll free at 1-800-717-4679.


Information Hotline 2-1-1

One number. One easy way to find help. Dial 2-1-1 for free, confidential 24-hour information and referral assistance.


James R. Watson Elementary School

Phone: 260-920-1014

901 Eckhart Avenue; Auburn, IN 46706


J.E. Ober Elementary School

801 E. Houston Street; Garrett, IN 46738

Phone: 260-357-3112



Just in Time Parenting

Just in Time Parenting is a free parenting newsletter that is delivered by email and specific to a child’s age and needs. They are designed so that information that’s relevant to your family is automatically delivered to you just in time. Click on the website link above to subscribe for free or browse the newsletters at the bottom of the page.


Lakewood Park Christian School

5555 County Road 29 South; Auburn IN 46706

Phone: 260-925-1393


Let’s Talk

Phone: 260-927-0995 ext. 13

Contact: Sarah Speer

The Let’s Talk program focuses on educating parents and caregivers about the relationship between talking to their child, literacy, and academic and lifelong success. Parents and caregivers of children age 0-5 can receive weekly text messages with helpful parenting tips and information by signing up for the Let’s Talk, Talk 2Baby service.

Just text Talk2Baby to 99000.


McKenney-Harrison Elementary School

Phone: 260-920-1015

320 Van Auken Street; Auburn, IN 46706


Moms and Babes

Phone: 260-357-1917

Contact: Sue Blotkamp

This free program meets every other Wednesday evening at the JAM (Judy A. Morrill Recreation Center), with speakers on various life skill topics. Parents and children attend together. Dinner is provided; no fee to attend.


New Hope MOPS (Moms of Preschoolers)

New Hope Church

900 S. Wayne Street; Waterloo, IN 46793

Phone: 260-837-3631

Meetings are currently held the 2nd Thursday of the month from 6:30-7:30 pm, September-May. Childcare is provided. MOPS is a support group for mothers of preschool age.


Northeastern Center

1800 Wesley Road; Auburn, IN 46706

Phone: 260-925-2453

Contact: Jeremy Lewis

Parenting Under Stress

This program is designed to provide support and education to mothers and fathers who are experiencing special life stresses that affect parenting. A group allows participants to gain support and information from their peers. This 12 week program meets weekly for 1 hour sessions every Friday.

Divorce Seminar

This is a 2-hour court-mandated program that is offered on an individual basis. Please contact the Northeastern Center for more information.


Purdue University Extension Office

215 East 9th Street – Suite 300; Auburn, IN 46706

Phone: 260-925-2562

News Notes to Parents

News Notes to Parents is a monthly publication of Purdue Extension in Northeast Indiana. It is a very helpful resource for parents, childcare workers, agencies, and anyone involved in the lives of infants and toddlers. All publications can be accessed here.

Parenting Counts

This is a program developed by the Talaris Research Institute. It is based on 60 second television scenarios about how children think, feel and learn. The materials are designed to support efforts to bring this information to parents and caregivers. The materials include two-hour workshop plans, 20-minute lesson plans to use in conjunction with other workshops, handouts for parents, and background material.

Parenting Piece By Piece

Curriculum was designed to be taught in a series of eight to ten sessions. It is designed for use with parents who have been mandated to attend parenting training due to their identification as physically or emotionally abusive and/or neglectful parents. The program has been adapted for use with incarcerated parents and other high-risk groups. It is not aimed at sexually abusive parenting. This has not been taught in DeKalb County but could be.


Right Relations, Inc.

2513 S. Calhoun Street; Fort Wayne, IN 46807

Phone: 260-436-7578

Contact: Tamie Morrison, Program Coordinator

Family Enrichment Series

This program focuses on personal development, communication skills, and building healthy relationships within families, work and social environments through principled centered education. Classes are offered Tuesday evenings in Kendallville, Thursday evenings in Columbia City, and Saturday mornings in Fort Wayne. Right Relations is a Community Partner with Purdue University.


Riverdale Elementary School

6127 State Road 1; St. Joe, IN 46785

Phone: 260-337-5464


Saint Joseph Catholic School

301 West Houston Street; Garrett, IN 46738

Phone: 260-357-5137


SCAN, Inc. (Stop Child Abuse and Neglect)

500 W. Main Street; Fort Wayne, IN 46802

Phone: 260-421-5002

SCAN is a not-for-profit organization whose sole mission is to eliminate the abuse and neglect of children through family services, education, and community partnerships. SCAN has two primary service areas: Prevention and Family Restoration.


Shots For Tots

DeKalb County Health Department

220 East 7th Street; Auburn, IN 46706

Phone: 260-925-2220

Contact: Emily Engel

Call our office to set up an appointment Vaccines will be administered by appointment only. Children ages 0-18 years are eligible for free vaccines only if:

– No Insurance

– Medicaid/Hoosier Healthwise

– Insurance doesn’t pay for vaccines


Small Wonders

801 E. Houston St.; Garrett, IN

Phone: 260-357-3185

The mission of Small Wonders is to support and strengthen families in our community.

Get support throughout your pregnancy and your baby’s first year with FREE text messages on topics like prenatal care, your baby’s health, parenting and more. Register online or through your cell phone. Text the word BABY (or BEBE for Spanish) to the number 511411.


Toddler Friends 123

Eckhart Public Library

Phone: 260-925-2414

A center-based learning program for children 18 months to 3 years old.


Waterloo Elementary School

300 E. Douglas Street; Waterloo, IN 46793

Phone: 260-920-1016


Waterloo-Grant Township Public Library

300 S. Wayne Street; Waterloo, IN 46793

Phone: 260-837-4491



265 N. Grandstaff Boulevard.; Auburn, IN 46706

Phone: 260-925-1740

Contact: Lynette Calloway

WIC is a special supplemental food program for women, infants, and children, available to all eligible participants without regard to race, color, natural origin, age, sex, or handicap. WIC monitors the growth of infants and children, provides information on nutrition, tests for anemia and provides vouchers for nutritious food. Hours are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.; and Wednesday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.


YWCA Domestic Abuse Task Force

1610 Spy Run Ave.; Fort Wayne, IN 46805

Phone: 260-447-7233

Domestic Violence Crisis Line: 1-800-441-4073

YWCA Domestic Violence Services delivers a high quality continuum of care programs to victims of domestic violence. Sheltering and interventions are available.


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