May 29, 2020
Dear Partners, 

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in Louisiana on March 9, 2020, the Louisiana Policy Institute for Children (LPIC) has been working to research and advocate for policies to support young children and working families through early care and education. 

Unfortunately, the child care industry, like many others, has greatly suffered during the pandemic. We know from our research that child care providers incurred losses of approximately $37 million statewide and now will need to incur further costs due to guidelines that decrease classroom group sizes . 

Let’s be clear, Louisiana’s economy will not be able to fully reopen without the help of our child care providers. When Louisiana invests in early care and education, they are investing in young children, their families, child care providers, and employers around the state. 

This past month, we have continued to lead with data and research to ensure that early care and education stays a priority during this tumultuous time. In summary, we have done the following:

  • Released Getting Families Back to Work findings, which highlight the importance of early care and education on reopening Louisiana's economy and outlines recommendations for how much money should be invested in early care and education.
  • Released updated early care and education cost model during COVID-19, which reflects the new realities facing early care and education providers as a result of the pandemic.
  • Released April 13th survey findings from our longitudinal statewide survey about the impact of COVID-19 on child care providers in Louisiana, conducted from April 13 - April 20. 
  • Hosted a virtual press conference to release Getting Families Back to Work with our partners from Greater New Orleans (GNO) Inc., Louisiana Association for Business and Industry (LABI), and Ewing Timber Co., to share key findings from getting families back to work and conduct a virtual Q&A with 257 participants.
  • Supported the Governor’s Resilient Commission through data and research on early care and education. 
  • Shared our updated early care and education cost model data with our Louisiana federal delegation, Governor, and state legislators.
  • Co-drafted and signed a memo to the Louisiana Department of Education on collective recommendations regarding areas that need to be addressed when re-opening child care in Louisiana.
  • Released a policy brief, Family Child Care in Louisiana Needs to Prioritize Safety and Quality, about why LPIC opposed legislation that would have created an “early learning home” license for family child care providers. LPIC shared the policy brief with the authors of the bills and influenced the bills to be amended. 
  • Submitted testimony for the House Appropriations Hearing on May 11, 2020 on the importance of ensuring investment in early care and education in the Louisiana state budget.
  • Participated in an early care and education virtual day of action hosted by the Ready Louisiana Coalition.
  • Been cited 12 times in the news and media between May 1 and May 29, 2020.

As Louisiana begins to enter Phase 2 of reopening and our policymakers finalize the state’s budget during the special session, we will continue to bring attention to the critical issue of early care and education in Louisiana. 
Sincerely,
Libbie Sonnier, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Louisiana Policy Institute for Children
In this issue:

  • Report Release: Getting Families Back to Work
  • Double Your Dollar by Investing in Young Children
  • Report Release: The Ongoing Impacts of COVID-19 on Louisiana's Child Care Providers
  • Report Release: Modeling Child Care Center Costs and Revenues in Louisiana
  • LPIC Data Cited in National Women's Law Center Report
  • Early Care and Education in the News
  • Upcoming Dates
Report Release: Getting Families Back to Work
LPIC released Getting Families Back to Work , highlighting the importance of early care and education on reopening Louisiana's economy.

As Louisiana recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic and prepares to reopen the economy, any recovery plans must include the early care and education (ECE) sector. Prior to COVID-19, two-thirds of children age five and under in Louisiana had both parents or their single parent in the workforce. For those parents to return to work, they must have access to quality, reliable early care and education for their children. To ensure this access, critical investments will be necessary to restore the historically underinvested ECE industry impacted by COVID-19 and expand resources available to families experiencing financial losses as a result of the pandemic. Without a robust ECE industry, Louisiana will struggle to get back to work.
Double Your Dollar By Investing in Young Children
LPIC has just 5 more days to raise $20,000 by Tuesday, June 2nd through GiveNOLA Day! If you donate today, your donation will go towards supporting early care and education for working parents and young children across Louisiana and will be matched dollar for dollar up to $10,000.  

Report Release: The Ongoing Impacts of COVID-19 on Louisiana Child Care Providers
LPIC conducted a second survey of child care providers in Louisiana from April 13-20, 2020 , in partnership with Agenda for Children, Childcare Connections for Northeast Louisiana, Louisiana Association of United Ways, Northwestern State University, Pointe Coupee Early Childhood Coalition, On Track by 5 Alliance, United Way of Southeast Louisiana, and Volunteers of America.

Results from the April 13th survey show the troubling circumstances and difficult decisions child care providers continue to face as the COVID-19 pandemic persists.
Report Release:
Modeling Child Care Center Costs and Revenues in Louisiana
In light of the changing operating parameters for early care and education centers due to the COVID-19 pandemic, LPIC updated a prior cost model to reflect the new realities facing early care and education providers as a result of the pandemic. Two of largest changes facing early care and education providers in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic are restricted group sizes, which result in lower teacher-child ratios, and increased need for cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment. 

With the uncertainty around when, or if, the pandemic will end and group size restrictions will be lifted, these changes are likely to remain in place for early care and education providers for the foreseeable future, even as the economy reopens. As such, these factors will continue to impact cost efficiency for early care and education providers, and influence the financial viability of the sector as a whole.
LPIC Data Cited in National Women's Law Center Report
The National Women’s Law Center’s new report, Child Care's Struggle to Survive COVID-19: State Impacts and Responses , features data from the Louisiana Policy Institute for Children. 

The report shows that states are seeing significant impacts of COVID-19 on their child care systems, and are using new CCDBG funds to respond with a range of strategies to help providers and families. However, the report also shows that the new CCDBG funding is not enough to fully support providers, educators, and the families they serve. 
Early Care and Education in the News
The cost of child care could jump just as Louisiana gets back to work

"As the state now moves into reopening, the concern is whether child care centers, without financial help, will be able to open their doors for working families."

- Mike McDaniel from WWLTV
Just 31% of Louisiana's childcare centers are open; advocates want $71M in aid for reopening

"Louisiana child care providers have lost $30 million because of the coronavirus pandemic and need more than double that to help re-start the economy..."

- Will Sentell from The Advocate
Empty playgrounds, wallets for Louisiana childcare centers

“This is sad,” said Wilcox. “Having an empty slide that little people are not holding their hands up waiting to slide down. It’s heartbreaking.”

- Mike McDaniel from WWLTV
Reopening Requires Childcare Funding

"The Council for a Better Louisiana (CABL), the Louisiana Policy Institute, which is a child advocacy group, the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry and many others are advocates of adequate funding for childcare. They realize parents and caregivers working in every industry won't be able to return to work and keep the economy moving without childcare."

- Member of the American Press Editorial Board
Upcoming Dates
  • June 16-17, 2020 Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) Meeting 
  • ​July 8, 2020 Early Childhood Care and Education Commission Advisory Council Meeting
  • July 13, 2020 Early Literacy Commission Meeting
  • July 21, 2020 Children's Cabinet Advisory Board 
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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