In 2021, 53% of Bossier Parish kindergarten students did not have the age-appropriate skills to be prepared for school. Kindergarten readiness is measured through a child’s language and literacy skills, basic numeracy concepts, as well as social and motor skills. Research has shown kindergarten readiness is a strong indicator of long-term educational success.
Since 90% of brain development occurs before the age of 5, it is critical that children develop a strong foundation of cognitive, linguistic, and social skills in the early years. However, for many families, access to high-quality early learning (on average $8,700/year) is simply unaffordable. In Bossier Parish, over 3,600 children below the age of 4 from low-income households are in need of childcare and do not have access to publicly funded seats.
In addition, 66% of Louisiana children age 5 and under have both parents or their single parent, in the workforce. Parents rely on safe, quality childcare to be able to work. Employee absences and turnover due to childcare issues cost Louisiana employers over $760 million a year, causing a $1.3 billion loss annually for our state’s economy.
CFNLA is committed to providing a way for more families to access quality early learning opportunities to better prepare children for success in school and in life and to help ensure a stronger, more stable workforce.
After a successful campaign in Caddo, which provided scholarships for more than 200 children below the age of 3, CFNLA has expanded the initiative to Bossier Parish. CFNLA aims to raise $400,000 and will seek a dollar-for-dollar match through the state’s ECE Fund for children from low-income households to attend a quality childcare center. If Bossier citizens and businesses raise a collective $360,000, CFNLA will contribute the last $40,000. Your donation, plus CFNLA’s contribution, will allow us to leverage $400,000 from the state, creating a total of $800,000 in scholarships.
Investing in early childhood education is an investment in our entire community. Please consider making a contribution to the Bossier Parish Early Childhood Education Fund at cfnla.org/ece.