July 29, 2021
Dear Partners and Friends,

The state legislature may be adjourned for the summer, but we at the Louisiana Policy Institute for Children are busy as ever! As you may know, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) will provide Louisiana with over $772 million in one-time federal funds to use for early care and education. This money must be spent by 2024. During the past few months, the Louisiana Department of Education has collected feedback and input from several early care and education stakeholders, including the Louisiana Policy Institute for Children, on how the state should use the ARPA dollars.

Based on feedback from the statewide survey and listening sessions with stakeholders, the Department plans to focus on the following priorities to support more families to access high-quality child care for their children using the ARPA dollars.
  • Develop and implement a long-term strategy to build a better child care system that meets the needs of all families and supports the stabilization of the child care sector.
  • Empower communities to expand supply and access to high-quality early childhood options for families and to identify opportunities to sustain that expansion long-term.
  • Ensure that teachers are prepared and supported to lead classrooms and provide high-quality interactions that meet the developmental needs of children every day.
  • Establish a statewide family engagement framework and empowers families to access tools and resources to support their children’s development. 

The Louisiana Policy Institute for Children is also currently engaged in outreach to members of Louisiana’s federal delegation to urge them to join the bipartisan support for substantial investments in early care and education. The Louisiana Policy Institute for Children encourages our members of Congress to support federal investment to increase the supply of child care programs in Louisiana and expand access to high-quality early care and education for families; and extend the expanded child tax credit to help more Louisiana families afford necessities for their children, like high-quality early care and education programs.

As always, we offer our organization as a resource to answer questions related to our research around early care and education in Louisiana. Thank you for your commitment to Louisiana’s youngest learners!
Best,
Libbie Sonnier, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Louisiana Policy Institute for Children
In this Issue:

  • Spotlight: Louisiana One of Five States Announced as Recipients of Child Care NEXT Transformation Grants
  • Spotlight: PBS NewsHour Segment on the State of Child Care in America
  • Report Release: PAR Releases Start Strong! The Case for Priority Investment in Louisiana Early Childhood Programs
  • Spotlight: LPIC's Executive Director to Speak at Ellevate Louisiana's Second Annual Summit
  • Early Care and Education in the News
Spotlight: Louisiana One of Five States Announced as Recipients of Child Care NEXT Transformation Grants
Recently, the Alliance for Early Success announced that Louisiana is one of five states selected for Child Care NEXT, an initiative to support in-state coalitions that are ready to implement long-term campaigns to achieve transformative change in their state’s child-care policies and funding. Louisiana's coalition will be led by the Louisiana Policy Institute for Children and Wilcox Academy for Early Learning. Other states that received Child Care NEXT grants are Colorado, Oregon, New York, and Virginia. Click here to read the press release.
Spotlight: PBS NewsHour Segment on the State of Child Care in America
Check out PBS NewsHour series Raising the Future: America's Child Care Dilemma segment which examines the nation’s fractured child care system and its impact on women, children, people of color and the economy. Click here to learn more about Child Care NEXT.
Report Release: PAR Releases Start Strong! The Case for Priority Investment in Louisiana Early Childhood Programs
This report by the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana (PAR) provides an overview of the evolution and current structure of an ambitious proposed program for early childhood care and education. It examines the governance model and financial mechanisms already designed for the program and recommends a stronger way forward. Click here to read the report.
Spotlight: LPIC's Executive Director to Speak at Ellevate Louisiana's Second Annual Summit
Libbie Sonnier, Ph.D. will be speaking at Ellevate Louisiana's Second Annual Summit on an Early Childhood Care panel along with Charmaine Caccioppi (United Way of Southeast Louisiana) and Robert Travis Scott (Public Affairs Research Council (PAR) of Louisiana. Click here for more information, including registration links for the conference.
Early Care and Education in the News

“This isn’t a tough decision. A Louisiana Policy Institute for Children survey found that 80% of voters agree that spending on early care and education is a good investment. The survey also found that 53% of respondents acknowledged that child care costs are one of their biggest expenses.”

- The Advocate


“As the economy improves and staffing gets better these facilities are looking to expand and get back to pre-pandemic capacity. The Louisiana Policy Institute for Children said over 90% of child care facilities are back open, but child care assistance is still a struggle for many Louisiana parents who are getting back to work.”

- BR Proud


"The United States may be emerging from the pandemic, but families across the country are still struggling to figure out how to manage child care. As the virus ripped through communities, many day cares shut down. Parents found themselves with the daunting task of managing working from home and watching their kids around the clock.."

- Forbes


From inconsistent regulations to low pay, inadequate staffing and minimal governmental support, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed deep-seated challenges in early childhood education."

- EdSurge
Upcoming Dates
  • Tuesday, August 10 (10:00 am - 12:30 pm), Children's Cabinet Advisory Board (CCAB) Meeting
  • Tuesday, August 17 - Wednesday, August 18 (9:00 - 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 lsonnier@policyinstitutela.org.