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The Julia & Nicholas Runnebohm Early Learning Center

The Julia & Nicholas Runnebohm Early Learning Center is making a difference in the lives of children in Shelby County. How? By focusing on the child in their most formative years. By the time a child is six-years-old, 95% of their neurotransmitter pathways are developed. These pathways are responsible for movement, speech, and human connection, ultimately determining a person’s ability to relate to and function in the world. This is true for kids with special needs just as much as it is true for any child, and at The Julia & Nicholas Runnebohm Early Learning Center, all families are welcomed and celebrated with high-quality care and education.



Funding the Future

As a result of extensive research on childcare access in Shelby County, Early Learning Shelby County (ELSC) was established and funded by both the city and county units of government to address limited childcare and preschool offerings in Shelby County. The Julia & Nicholas Runnebohm Early Learning Center is the community's most significant effort to improve childcare, supported by $3M from Indiana's Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI) program, $3M from local match dollars, and $2M in philanthropic gifts.

Center Naming

Honoring Service

In August 2023, community members gathered to break ground and celebrate the commitments of Shelby County natives, Julia and Nicholas Runnebohm, to our community's children and families. " I am certain the Julia Runnebohm would be proud of the transformative impact this facility will have on the community, reflecting her generous spirt." - Allison Coburn


Breaking Ground

Celebrating Partners

Runnebohm Construction, Major Health Partners, Blue River Community Foundation, Horseshoe Indianapolis, Knauf Insulation, Beaty Construction Inc., C-Tech Corporation, Shelby Materials and Ryobi Die Casting have made significant contributions to the project. Learn more about how you or your corporation can support our project.

Moving the Needle

Increasing Capacity for Care

Opening January 6, 2025, The Julia & Nicholas Runnebohm Early Learning Center's construction and pre-operations team is led by industry experts Halstead Architects, Runnebohm Construction, and  Bright Horizons. With support from Indiana Family and Social Services Administration's Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning and Early Learning Indiana, The Julia & Nicholas Runnebohm Early Learning Center will ensure 190+ infants, toddlers and preschoolers are empowered with essential skills to thrive in kindergarten and beyond.

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