March 3, 2021

Dear Partners and Friends,

We are so excited to share that the fourth annual Early Ed Week was a huge success! We knew this event would be different as this was our first “all-virtual” Early Ed Week.

To those who were in attendance, thank you for joining us and we hope you learned more about the critical issues surrounding early care and education that impact children and families in Louisiana, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Other things to note on the horizon will be the release of the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Commission’s report to the Louisiana Legislature, as well as the Louisiana Policy Institute for Children’s report on the findings from the fourth survey of child care providers conducted January 13-27, 2021 on the impact that COVID-19 has had on their centers.

On April 12, the 2021 Regular Legislative Session will convene. We and the Ready Louisiana Coalition are asking the Legislature to create a robust source of ongoing funding for the Louisiana Early Childhood Education Fund (Fund), by committing all revenues from sports betting, both in-person and online. The Fund offers a dollar-for-dollar match to local entities who create their own plans to expand early care and education, but currently the money available in the Fund is substantially out-paced by local fundraising efforts. Louisiana needs a strong source of ongoing revenue for the Fund to incentivize local buy-in and ensure that every local dollar spent on early care and education can go twice as far.
As policymakers begin to create the laws and regulations surrounding sports betting, please reach out to your legislators about this critical issue (find your legislator here) and urge them to make choices that will impact multiple generations of Louisianans. We offer our organization, The Louisiana Policy Institute for Children, as a resource over the next Legislative session.

Thank you for your commitment to Louisiana’s young children!
Best,
Libbie Sonnier, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Louisiana Policy Institute for Children
Just in case you missed Early Ed Week 2021:

Click here to watch the Keynote Address by Dr. Jack Shonkoff on leveraging 21st century science to strengthen the foundations of early learning and lifelong health in a post-COVID-19 world

Click here to watch the Virtual Child Care Tour of child care centers in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, LA featuring remarks from Louisiana State Superintendent of Education, Dr. Cade Brumley and the Governor of Louisiana, John Bel Edwards.

Click here to watch the Child Care and the Economy Business Breakfast Briefing featuring Rob Grunewald from the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Mr. Grunewald who speaks about how child care impacts businesses and the workforce,

Click here to watch "Brain Matters," a ground-breaking non-profit documentary film that highlights the critical nature of the early years in helping children thrive. Note that you can select the subtitle language of their choice in settings. 
Early Care and Education in the News

"I am thankful we were able to come together as a state today to discuss the critical need of early childhood education,” said Bruce Willson, president & CEO of United Way of Northwest Louisiana...Taking the time now to invest in improving early childcare centers and providing the tools necessary for learning to young children, will in return, give children the skills they need for success, give their caretakers comfort in knowing their child is in a safe and beneficial environment, and improve the setback of education due to COVID-19.”

- Bossier Press-Tribune


"Of the families who responded to LPIC’s most recent survey, three-fourths indicated they are still relying on childcare outside of the home. Two-thirds indicated they have had to make adjustments to their school or work schedule in light of the recent balancing act of care and pandemic."

- American Press


"Our nation urgently needs a recovery vision that puts child care at the forefront, to support our working families and the thousands of child care workers across the country. Failing to invest in early childhood providers now will result in a slower economic recovery, as workers have nowhere to send their children."

- Hechinger Report
Upcoming Dates
  • Tuesday, March 9 - Wednesday, March 10, 2021 (9:00 am - 10:00 am), Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) Meetings

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.