Early Childhood Care and Education Commission will Meet on Tuesday, January 29 at noon
Louisiana’s Early Childhood Care and Education Commission will meet Tuesday, January 29, at 12:00 p.m. in the Thomas Jefferson (Rm. 1-136) of the Claiborne Building, 1201 N. Third Street, Baton Rouge.

Act 639 of the 2018 Legislative Session established the Commission to make recommendations, prior to the 2019 Legislative Session, for a Master Plan for Early Care and Education for Louisiana. Tuesday’s agenda will include a review of the draft Commission Report

Governor Will Consider Dedicating Sports Betting Revenue to Early Ed
If sports betting is approved in Louisiana, Governor John Bel Edwards said he would consider dedicating the new revenue to early childhood education. The Governor said expanding early childhood education programs is essential to reducing education performance gaps in our children. 

Advocates for early childhood education say dedicating sports betting revenue is a good start toward providing a more secure funding source for early care and education in Louisiana. For more on this issue see: 

Latest ALICE Report Shows 48% of Louisiana Households Can't Afford Basic Expenses, Including Housing, Child Care and Food
The Louisiana Association of United Ways has released the 2018 ALICE Report, an annual report on those vulnerable families in Louisiana who are "asset limited, income constrained and employed," or ALICE. 

According to the report, 29% of Louisiana households are ALICE, and another 19% live in poverty. Together, nearly 48% (828,255 households) cannot afford basic expenses, such as housing, child care, food, transportation and health care.

Households living below the ALICE threshold make up between 27% and 75% of every parish in the state. The report points to a 6% increase in ALICE households since the group's previous report in 2014. Statewide, the costs of living — including food, transportation, housing, health care and taxes — increased 16% for a single person and 33% for a family of four between 2010 and 2016, compared to 9% inflation nationally.

In New Orleans, more than half of the city’s households live below the poverty line or are struggling to make ends meet. Basic expenses, including child care – which averaged $996 a month, a $302 increase from 2014 – are outpacing wages. 

The Times-Picayune Editorial Board says Louisiana must find ways to give families better opportunities, and quality child care and preschool must be a priority. Louisiana is only serving 15 percent of our children in need from birth through age 3, which can mean children aren’t able to thrive in school and parents miss too much work and risk losing their jobs.

For Alice by Parish reports, click here. To read the full 2018 ALICE Report, click here.
Louisiana Is Launching Pilot Programs to Increase Early Care and Education Access and Improve Quality
The Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) is launching pilot programs in seven communities to develop and implement new strategies to increase access to and improve the quality of publicly funded early childhood care and education. Called Ready Start Community Networks, the pilots will include programs in Iberville, Jefferson, Lafayette, Orleans, Rapides, St. Mary and Washington Parishes. The pilot programs will spend two years: 

  • developing new local governance structures;
  • assessing local demand for early care and education;
  • providing resources and training to teachers to improve classroom quality; 
  • implementing fundraising strategies; and
  • sharing their findings with state leaders to inform future policymaking.

The Ready Start Community Networks will report to the state education department throughout the course of the pilot, and at the end, their findings will be publicly shared.  
The Louisiana Policy Institute for Children (LPIC) advances policies to ensure that Louisiana's young children are ready for success in school and in life. We are a source of nonpartisan, independent information on issues concerning children ages birth through four in Louisiana. We also develop policy proposals informed by data, research, best practices and the experiences of other states for improving the outcomes of Louisiana’s young children, and then provide educational and outreach activities around these recommended policy solutions.

To learn how to support LPIC, click here . For the latest news and updates on early care and education, visit our website or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. For more information, contact Melanie Bronfin, mmbronfin@policyinstitutela.org.