August 27, 2020
Dear Partners and Friends, 

The Louisiana Policy Institute for Children (LPIC) released results from our third survey on the impact of COVID-19 on Wednesday, August 19th during a virtual press conference. The findings are troubling and most notably:

  • Providers across the state reported a collective $137.5 million in financial losses due to COVID-19.
  • 81% of providers open during the survey window were serving fewer children in June than they served in January before the pandemic.
  • 45% of providers, including those that were closed during the survey window, had a waiting list of families hoping to enroll their children.
  • Almost two-thirds of providers reported difficulty in obtaining needed supplies, including cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment.
  • Less than one-in-four (22%) providers open during the survey window, including those that had closed then reopened or remained open throughout the pandemic, responded that they could afford to operate with smaller group sizes for as long as necessary. 

Based on our past data, the financial losses experienced by the child care sector will likely continue to grow as providers must balance maintaining healthy and safe environments for children with increased costs and reduced enrollments, resulting in part from required lower teacher-to-child ratios. We will conduct another survey of child care providers this fall as part of our series.

While federal and state relief fund programs helped many child care providers, these funds largely slowed, rather than fully addressed, the extensive financial losses experienced by providers. Additional investments will be necessary to ensure there is a child care sector for working parents and their employers to rely on in the future.

The United States Congress has not yet agreed on a stimulus package, leaving federal funding for child care up in the air. LPIC continues to contact our federal delegation to share data and keep them informed of the need that the early care and education sector is facing in light of COVID-19.

Earlier this month, I participated in a panel hosted by the United Way of Southeast Louisiana with Governor John Bel Edwards and State Superintendent Dr. Cade Brumley about how nonprofits and education advocates can best support Louisiana’s children and families as school resumes in a COVID-19 world. The panel highlighted the serious issues facing child care providers, working families, and children. Along with representatives from the mental health and business communities, the panel was a robust discussion of the serious issues facing our state.

Finally, the Board of Directors for the Louisiana Policy Institute for Children has new Board officers! I want to extend a huge congratulations to our new Board President, Dionne Rousseau (Partner, Jones Walker, LLP); Vice President, Julie Morial (Chief Medical Officer, United Health Community and State for Louisiana); and Secretary, Vince Jackson (Vice President, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana). We are very grateful for their leadership.

Sincerely,
Libbie Sonnier, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Louisiana Policy Institute for Children
In this Issue:
  1. Stay Safe Louisiana: Hurricane Laura
  2. Report Release: The Growing Adverse Impacts of COVID-19 on Louisiana Child Care Providers
  3. A Tribute to Shirley Haspel
  4. Melanie Bronfin, LPIC Founder, Honored with BGR Excellence in Government 2020 Citizenship Award
  5. Early Care and Education in the News
  6. Upcoming Dates
Stay Safe Louisiana: Hurricane Laura
Our thoughts are with all of those in the path of Hurricane Laura. We implore everyone to heed warnings and direction from state and local government.
  • For evacuation information, please visit emergency.la.gov or call 211
  • For up-to-date travel and roadway information, visit 511la.org or call 511.
  • For shelter information, please contact your Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. Contacts for each parish can be found at http://gohsep.la.gov/ABOUT/PARISHPA.
  • For updates from the Louisiana Governor's Office text LAGOV to 67283
Report Release: The Growing Adverse Impacts of COVID-19 on Louisiana Child Care Providers
On Wednesday, August 19th, the Louisiana Policy Institute for Children released the findings of a third survey in a series of surveys detailing the impacts of COVID-19 on child care providers in Louisiana.

We held a virtual press conference were joined by Sonjia Joseph-Brown from Clara’s Little Lambs and LPIC’s Board, Dr. Jenna Chiasson from the Louisiana Department of Education, Dr. Tim Magner from the Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Rachel Chatters from the Louisiana Chapter: American Academy of Pediatrics, and Bill Hammack from the Link Restaurant Group.

Click here to view the press conference.
A Tribute to Shirley Haspel
It is with great sadness that we share that Shirley Krasne Haspel passed away on Sunday, August 9, 2020, two days shy of her 96th birthday. Ms. Haspel was instrumental in the founding of the Louisiana Policy Institute for Children and was an untiring advocate for, and supporter of, the children and families in our state. When Melanie Bronfin, our founder, considered creating a nonprofit with the sole focus of policy and advocacy in support of young children in Louisiana, Ms. Haspel was one of the first people she called. Mrs. Haspel’s family foundation was one of the initial two supporters of our organization and has continued supporting us to this day. Ms. Haspel was one of our greatest cheerleaders and enjoyed hearing updates on our work until a few months before she died. She will be greatly missed.
Melanie Bronfin, LPIC Founder, Honored with BGR Excellence in Government 2020 Citizenship Award
We are proud to announce that Melanie Bronfin, J.D., the Founder and former Executive Director of LPIC, will receive a BGR Excellence in Government 2020 Citizenship Award which recognizes Melanie's work to improve early care and education in Louisiana. Melanie has dedicated her life to ensuring Louisiana government provides a strong foundation for young children and their families through high-quality early care and education. In the past five years, she has helped make increasing access to quality early care and education an important topic of discussion across our community and a priority for numerous policy makers.

The Bureau of Governmental Research (BGR) Excellence in Government Awards honor extraordinary local and state government employees and private citizens in the New Orleans area. Melanie and all the honorees will be recognized in a one-hour program on WYES-TV that is scheduled to air Friday, September 18 and replay on Sunday, September 20.
Early Care and Education in the News
Early childhood education centers facing stiff challenges

"Sonnier concluded the teleconference saying despite the "many unknowns still ahead" the need for increased financial investment is apparent. "Without increased investment in the early care and education sector now, facilitating access to quality, reliable early care and education, parents working across every industry will not be able to return to work to provide for their families and keep the Louisiana economy moving forward."

- Marlisa Harding from The American Press
With remote back-to-school, child care challenges for providers, families emerge

"40% of U.S. child care centers in the U.S. said they are certain that, without additional public assistance, they will be forced to close permanently."

- Terry DeMio from USA Today
For Louisiana child care operators, staying open amid coronavirus is financially 'hard'

"Losses for Louisiana day care operators because of the coronavirus pandemic have more than tripled since May and now total $100 million..."

- Will Sentell from The Advocate
Upcoming Dates
  • September 14, 2020: Early Literacy Commission Meeting, 12:00 - 3:00 pm CT
  • September 23, 2020: Early Childhood Care and Education Commission Advisory Council Meeting, 1:00 pm CT
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, Ph.D.at lsonniernetto@policyinstitutela.org.
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