Explainer: LA Early Childhood Education Fund

Early Childhood Education | 05/02/2022

Karen Clark
Marketing, Communications, and Development Director

What: the Louisiana Early Childhood Education Fund is a 1:1 state match program that incentivizes localities to expand quality early education to low-income children.

When: in 2017, then-state Representative Walt Leger spearheaded the passage of the Louisiana Early Childhood Education Fund. Until recently, the fund did not have any money so local investments went unmatched. Thanks to strong advocacy by organizations supporting early education, the fund now has multiple sources of revenue and the first matches are expected to be awarded this year.

Where: any locality in Louisiana may be eligible for the match. Louisiana’s Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) administers the fund and there is guidance for which programs qualify.

Why: currently, the state of Louisiana spends less than 1% of its budget on early education. Research shows, however, that investing in our youngest learners has long-term benefits for the entire community including improved education outcomes, increased workforce participation, reduced crime, and a stronger economy.

Who: several communities in Louisiana including Shreveport, Point Coupee Parish, New Orleans, and Jefferson Parish have taken steps to expand access to quality early education to low-income children, making them strong candidates for the 1:1 match from the Louisiana Early Childhood Education Fund. Most recently, Orleans Parish voters approved a millage that will create 1,000+ quality early education seats for the city’s low income residents, making the city one of less than 50 communities across the country that have secured voter-approved funding for early education.

Questions? Let us know by emailing lainfo@stand.org.

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