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!