December 18, 2019

Dear Friends, 

With just a few weeks remaining in this decade, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on 2019. This was quite a momentous year for the Louisiana Policy Institute beginning in February with our second Early Ed Week in six locations around the state of Louisiana for legislators and business leaders. 

In April, I had the privilege of taking over as Executive Director from Melanie Bronfin. I honestly did not know I could have this much fun working, and it has been a joy to see the impact of our work on a daily basis. I am fortunate to work alongside an incredible team that includes our Board, coalition members from all across our state, business leaders, and advocates.  

This past spring, during the 2019 Louisiana legislative session, our state made an historic investment of $18.8 million in new funding for early care and education. These dollars funded more than 1,400 new child care assistance seats for low-income working parents to access subsidies for quality child care for their children. Furthermore, our advocacy efforts resulted in the state expanding the Louisiana Early Childhood Education Trust Fund and increasing the state-to-local match for investment in early care and education with new dedicated funding sources. 
This summer, we began a research study in conjunction with the Louisiana Department of Education to study the experiences of caregivers who were on the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) waitlist. Stay tuned for a report coming out in January 2020! 
During the 2019 Louisiana elections this fall, we developed materials and policy planks on early care and education for candidates, ensured questions about early ed were included in gubernatorial debates, community forums, and questionnaires, and earned significant media exposure around the issue of early care and education. Thirty-eight candidates included early care and education in their platforms, and all candidates for Governor expressed support for the issue. We also had the opportunity to share our work with several national partners at conferences and meetings around the country. 
I am very grateful to all of our funders and donors who have supported the Louisiana Policy Institute for Children this year and in the past. I also cannot thank our incredible Board enough, which doubled in size this year, and Melanie! And finally, a huge thank you to all of our incredible partners who work alongside us. I am thrilled to continue building on what we have accomplished during the past six years and ensuring that a successful Louisiana starts with successful children.

Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year to All!

Warm wishes,
Libbie Sonnier-Netto, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Louisiana Policy Institute for Children
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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