April 30, 2020
Dear Partners,
 
I hope you are all doing as well as you can amidst the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. The pandemic has certainly snapped into focus the importance of accessible high-quality early care and education for Louisiana’s working families.

Before the pandemic, we learned from our Balancing Act report that many working parents faced stark choices when trying to afford child care. Nearly 80% of families reported struggling to find care for their children and almost two-thirds reported borrowing money to pay for child care in order to go to work.

Our Losing Ground Report found that one in six Louisianans with young children had quit their job due to child care issues and over 40% reported missing work recently for the same reason. Child care breakdowns cost Louisiana’s businesses $816 million per year and the state economy $1.1 billion a year well before the pandemic.

During the pandemic, we learned more about the impact on COVID-19 on child care providers through our initial survey from March 16 - March 23. During the first two weeks of the pandemic, child care providers reported a collective loss of $1.7 million and 35% said they may not be able to reopen after an extended closure. Currently, almost 70% of centers are closed.

Ensuring that working parents can afford child care and early care and education care providers can keep their businesses afloat is key to ensuring Louisiana's economy recovery following this crisis. During the month of April, the Louisiana Policy Institute for Children has been responsive to the needs of the child care sector in light of the pandemic. This month we have:
 
  • Released survey findings from a statewide survey about the impact of COVID-19 on child care providers in Louisiana, conducted from March 16 - March 23
  • Disseminated our initial survey findings resulting in care providers having access to apply for $10 million in grants from the Louisiana Department of Education and extend subsidized child care to essential critical infrastructure personnel for an additional 30 days.
  • Shared our initial survey results with our Louisiana federal delegation, Governor, state legislators, and Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) members.
  • Hosted a virtual press conference with our partners from Agenda for Children, Louisiana Association of United Ways, The Louisiana Department of Education, United Way of Southeast Louisiana, Volunteers of America Greater Baton Rouge, and Wilcox Academy to share key findings from the report and conduct a virtual Q&A with 330 participants.
  • Surveyed child care providers from April 13 - April 20 to continue our longitudinal study on the impact of COVID-19 on Louisiana child care providers.
  • Co-hosted three webinars that reached 678 participants to help child care providers navigate small business funding along with local and national partners including GNO Inc., Propeller, the U.S. Small Business Association, and First Children's Finance that reached 678 participants
  • Participated in drafting the Ready Louisiana Coalition ask for the state legislature and Governor to support the child care industry during COVID-19 and signed on along with 90 other organizations. The ask included data from our initial survey.
  • Mentioned 33 times in the news and media since April 1, 2020
 
We know that we all have a lot of work to do to ensure that the early care and education sector does not fall through the cracks during this pandemic. We need this sector to help revive our economy, let working parents go to work, and build the foundation for young children in our state. 
 
Sincerely,
Libbie Sonnier-Netto, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Louisiana Policy Institute for Children
In this issue:

  • Report Release: Impact of COVID-19 on Louisiana Child Care Providers
  • It Will Take $9.6 Billion Each Month to Stabilize Our Child Care System During this Crisis
  • No Small Matter Virtual Screening
  • Early Care and Education in the News
Report Release:
Impact of COVID-19 on Louisiana Child Care Providers
The Louisiana Policy Institute for Children (LPIC) released a new report,  The Impact of COVID-19 on Louisiana Child Care Providers,  detailing how the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has affected child care providers across the state.

LPIC conducted a survey of child care providers in Louisiana from March 16-23, 2020, in partnership with Agenda for Children, Childcare Connections for Northeast Louisiana, Louisiana Association of United Ways, Northwestern State University, Pointe Coupee Early Childhood Coalition, On Track by 5 Alliance, United Way of Southeast Louisiana, and Volunteers of America.
Results from the survey show the troubling impacts and difficult decisions facing child care providers in Louisiana during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It Will Take $9.6 Billion Each Month to Stabalize Our Child Care System During this Crisis
The National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), and Aaron Sojourner (a University of Minnesota economist and former senior economist for labor at the White House Council of Economic Advisors) have just released a critically important new child care analysis.

In this analysis, titled Child Care is Key to Our Economic Recovery , estimates show that at least $9.6 billion is needed each month to stabilize our child care system and ensure it survives the pandemic.
No Small Matter Virtual Screening
TrainingGrounds   and   Kaleidoscope Early Learning   invite you to attend a free virtual screening of the documentary film, No Small Matter followed by a live chat on Sunday, May 3rd from 7:45 - 9:45 pm CT.

No Small Matter is a powerful documentary about the importance of early childhood development while highlighting the challenges facing early childhood care and education. The Louisiana Policy Institute for Children is a co-sponsor of this event. 
Here's a sneak peak!
Early Care and Education in the News
Louisiana Extends Child Care Assistance for Critical Personnel

"Amid the ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, the Louisiana Department of Education today (April 28th) announced it would provide subsidized child care to essential critical infrastructure personnel for an additional 30 days."

- Louisiana Department of Education Newsroom
Letters: Affordable child care is vital to economic recovery

"Lack of access to quality child care will cripple Louisiana’s recovery efforts and grind our economy to a standstill, potentially leaving us in a far worse state than we can imagine."

- Committee of 100 CEO & President and LPIC Board Member, Mike Olivier in The Advocate
Guest column: More than ever, quality child care critical to our lives

"In normal times, child care providers are a linchpin of our society. High quality early childhood care and education strengthens our workforce and can even lift families out of intergenerational poverty.

In these scary and uncertain times, when nearly 70% of child care sites have closed their doors, the work of those remaining open is a matter of life and death."


- Assistant State Superintendent of Education, Jessica Baghian from The Advocate
One third of Louisiana child care centers could close after coronavirus leads to $1.7M loss

"Child care providers have lost at least $1.7 million because of closings sparked by the coronavirus and sites that care for about 12,500 children are in danger of staying shut permanently, according to a statewide survey released Thursday."

- Will Sentel and Charles Lussier in The Advocate
About Us
The Louisiana Policy Institute for Children (LPIC)
is a 501(c)(3) nonpartisan, nonprofit organization
that is a source of data, research and information
for policymakers on issues concerning young
children in Louisiana.   

For more information, contact Libbie Sonnier-Netto
at lsonniernetto@policyinstitutela.org.
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