In its advocacy role, the Alliance initiates, promotes, and advocates for policies and initiatives that enable YMCAs to provide programs focused on youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility in their communities. As a statewide non-partisan, nonprofit organization, the Alliance is the voice of Indiana’s YMCAs. With that responsibility, and in our work, we strive to uphold the four core YMCA values of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility.
How we do our work:
- Research and Data: The Alliance tracks and analyzes data to informe our public policies. We also conduct anecdotal research with our Ys regarding how to improve the lives of the children, adults, and families in the communities they serve. This forms the foundation of how we develop our public policy recommendations.
- Partner Collaboration: We work with partners at difference coalition tables to collectively raise our voices and advocate for change, while ensuring the needs of the youth, adults, and families we serve informs our efforts.
- Advocacy at Legislative Level: The Alliance educates policymakers of all parties, in the legislature and in the administration, in Indianaplis and in Washington, D.C. - to achieve meaningful policy results.
- Resource: We serve as a reliable, objective resource on policies impacting youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility.
The Alliance remains flexible enough to address matters when warranted. If you are interested in partnering with the Indiana Alliance of YMCAs on advocacy efforts promoting Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility, please contact Ceann Bales.
Expand the buttons below to learn about our 2023 priorities.
Early Learning (EL)
Ensure each child in Indiana has the opportunity for affordable and accessible high-quality early childhood education, including infant and toddler childcare, as well as pre-kindergarten education.
- Support increased access to and quality of childcare through state funding to supplement Child Care Development Fund (CCDF).
- Promote the need to create sustainability grants to support the Child Care Industry.
- Investigate benefits of expanding IC 20-26-7.1, et seq. the “$1 Law" to include nonprofit early learning programs to assist in expanding childcare capacity.
- Support expansion of high-quality pre-kindergarten through publicly funding pre-K options available in both school and community-based settings.
- Investigate possible changes to the shared space licensing standards to enable nonprofits to operate licensed childcare programs in an operating K-12 school facility.
Out-of-School Time Learning (OST)
Ensure each child in Indiana has the opportunity for consistent, high-quality and affordable OST learning opportunities.
- Promote the need for funding for evidence-based OST programs.
- Support the development of specific licensing standards for OST programs, recognizing the different needs of EL programs versus OST programs.
- Inform policy development aimed at regulating the OST domain, through relevant and consistent standards.
Ensure each child in Indiana has access to water safety instruction to prevent drownings.
- Identify to what extent the lifeguard shortage in Indiana is due to lack of training opportunities (vs. cost of training, low pay, lack of interest among teens, etc.).
- Investigate the benefits of and interest in expanding the high school Physical Education credit for school-facilitated lifeguard training to include the same credits given for offsite and/or third-party certification.
Community-Based Chronic Disease Prevention
Ensure equitable access to evidence-based health interventions to improve the health of all Hoosiers.
- Increase physical activity for youth and adults through support of investments in community infrastructure that promotes physical activity.
- Support increased funding of evidence-based prevention programs and access to public dollars for community organizations that serve in crucial roles to address the most significant areas of health impacting Indiana residents. Increase funding to expand access to healthy foods, especially in food insecure communities.
Ensure the reduction of the stigma associated with mental illness and expand evidence-based mental health programs.
- Support the development and funding of programs and services that provide early identification and treatment for children and adolescents who experience mental health challenges.
- Expand access to mental health support programs by championing public funding of evidence-based programs offered by nonprofit organizations.
Civic Engagement & Education
Ensure students across Indiana have access to experiential learning civic engagement programs.
- Support the Civic Education Advocacy Coalition in expanding and invigorating civic education.
- Promote the Indiana Youth and Government (INYaG) program as an integral partner in improving the quality and access of civic education for schools across the state.
Ensure preservation of nonprofit tax-exempt status in Indiana.
- Promote the Ys cause-driven focus and the importance of the Ys charitable status in supporting the Ys mission work.