June 29, 2021
Dear Partners and Friends,

We are pleased to share our top highlight from the 2021 Louisiana legislative session: the passage of Senate Bill 142, which commits 25% of sports betting revenues, up to $20 million, to the Louisiana Early Childhood Education Fund (the Fund). We thank our legislative champions, especially Senator Ward, and Ready Louisiana coalition partners for their tireless advocacy on behalf of our youngest Louisianans and their working parents. This state investment is a game-changer for young children and families in Louisiana because the Fund, offers local entities a dollar-for-dollar match on investments in early care and education, will enable more communities in Louisiana to help families access this critical resource for their children.

Other significant legislation that passed for early care and education include 50% of NBA Pelicans specialty license plate revenues will go to the Louisiana Early Childhood Education Fund, diapers and menstrual hygiene products will no longer be taxed in the state of Louisiana, and a new post-secondary community college grant program for adults will explore child care benefits for award recipients.

Despite these legislative wins, early care and education did not receive a direct appropriation in the state budget to help more children and families afford high-quality early care and education programs. This one-time federal money largely does not address access issues for the 114,000 young children in need of quality early care and education in the long term; these dollars are largely being used to stabilize the child care industry. Furthermore, the one-time nature of this federal stimulus money means that the state cannot fully invest these dollars to expand access if these additional child care slots disappear in a few years. If there’s no plan on how to continue covering the costs of expanded access after the federal money is gone, the ability to utilize federal funds now to increase access is severely constricted.

At the federal level, we will be reaching out to our federal delegation to urge them to support legislation that would provide funding to improve access to high-quality, affordable early care and education programs, as well as funding to improve the quality of existing programs and increase their capacity

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 learners!
Libbie Sonnier, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Louisiana Policy Institute for Children
In this Issue:

  • Recap: 2021 Legislative Wins for Early Care and Education
  • Spotlight: Welcome LPIC’s New Board Members
  • Spotlight: Dr. Libbie Sonnier Speaks to the Baton Rouge Press Club
  • Early Care and Education in the News
Recap: 2021 Legislative Wins for Early Care and Education
The following are highlights from the Louisiana 2021 Legislative session:
Spotlight: Welcome LPIC's New Board Members
We are very excited to announce the following new members to LPIC’s Board of Directors!
We also want to express our deepest gratitude to Jim Brandt - one of our founding Board members - and Deborah Randolph, who will be leaving our Board of Directors. Thank you both so much for your service in helping advance policies to ensure young children in Louisiana are successful in school and life.
Spotlight: Dr. Libbie Sonnier Speaks to the Baton Rouge Press Club
Last week, LPIC Executive Director Dr. Libbie Sonnier spoke to the Baton Rouge Press Club about the state of early care and education in Louisiana and specifically what can be done at the state and local levels to stabilize the child care sector from the devastating impacts of COVID-19. View a recording of the press conference here.
Early Care and Education in the News

“SB247 fulfills the wishes of the citizens in the 55 parishes that approved the referendum last fall to allow sports wagering and SB142 will help direct funding derived from this activity to early childhood education,” Senate President Page Cortez said Tuesday.

- The Advocate

"We know when we make increased investments as a state for our young children, that we win as a state," says Dr. Libbie Sonnier of Policy Institute for Children. "Childcare costs as much as public college tuition, and it's hard for parents to get a scholarship for that. This keeps it out of range for families who need it so they can get to work."


Despite hundreds of millions of dollars in new revenue being recognized by the Revenue Estimating Conference the week prior, and despite an $86 million need for early care and education, no new appropriations were made on behalf of Louisiana's youngest learners."

- The Advocate

"A Bureau of Labor Statistics analysis shows that the child care workforce is down 15% from pre-pandemic to now, a significant challenge for the 16% of the overall workforce — or 26.8 million people — who depend on child care to work."

- Bloomberg
Upcoming Dates
  • Wednesday, July 14 (10:00 am - 12:00 pm), Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Advisory Council Meeting

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.