"FirstPerson didn't just come in and say, 'Here's a plan you can buy.' They asked, 'What are you trying to accomplish?'"
Louonna Kachur

Early Learning Indiana is a provider of and an advocate for high-quality early learning education in Indiana. Established as Day Nursery more than 100 years ago, their roots in Indiana run deep. Over the past century, Early Learning Indiana has built their reputation as Central Indiana’s top non-profit provider of child care and education.

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When Early Learning Indiana came to FirstPerson, it was growing from an organization that provides childcare in Central Indiana into one that serves as a statewide model for the delivery of childcare services.

Not only does the nonprofit provide care to more than 1,000 children each year, but it also now coaches and trains childcare professionals throughout Indiana, and works to educate policymakers about quality childcare.

Going from a regional to a statewide organization require strategic planning. Improved compensation and benefits were a key step toward hiring and retaining the state’s best childcare professionals. Today, Early Learning Indiana is recognized as a premier workplace.


FirstPerson quickly recognized that Early Learning Indiana needed more than a new pay and benefits package; the organization needed to define its total compensation philosophy. Early Leaning Indiana Vice President of Workforce and Organizational Development Louonna Kachur said this process began with a compensation study that helped leadership understand the organization’s total compensation needs and objectives.

 FirstPerson helped Early Learning Indiana restructure its compensation structure and select a new benefits vendor. FirstPerson also worked to ensure that Early Learning Indiana employees understood their options and helped the organization communicate its compensation and benefits package more clearly.


Asked to define the results of this effort, Kachur notes: “Our compensation project with FirstPerson allowed us to leverage data, which evolved our compensation philosophy and ignited leadership support. This ensured our compensation program was competitive and aligned with our talent strategy. As changes were made, we saw an immediate and positive impact on center staff retention, performance management, and salary planning activities.”

It was this compensation strategy in tandem with a new benefits package, that gave Early Learning Indiana the increase in employee engagement that they were looking for (in the past, the organization assumed it would have 13% participation in workplace surveys; today, that number has increased to nearly 86%).

Perhaps most important, the impact is reflected on the bottom line and in the achievement of their mission. “More work has led to increased income and an increased ability to impact early childhood education across our state,” Kachur says.

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