CFNLA held the NWLA Early Childhood Policy Summit in the Fall of 2019 to address the needs of the nearly 60% of children in Caddo and Bossier parishes entering kindergarten unprepared.
The Summit and resulting Resolution ultimately led CFNLA to create the Early Childhood Education Fund in 2021. CFNLA raised $1 million which was matched by the State of Louisiana. All money raised provided scholarships for over 220 qualifying children (ages 0 to 3) to attend high-quality Type III Childcare and Education Centers. (These centers are all privately owned and operated.) In addition, with a state grant, Caddo Parish Schools also provided Type III center scholarships to 191 additional children. Following the success of this program, in August of 2022, the City of Shreveport allocated just under $3 million in permanent funding for Type III Scholarships. If approved for the state match, nearly $6 million in scholarship funds will be available for Shreveport preschool children!
In 2023, the City of Shreveport, Caddo Schools Caddo Smart Start, and CFNLA will hold three community events to raise awareness about the importance of early brain development and kindergarten readiness. See below for upcoming community event dates. Qualifying families can apply for early childhood scholarships and learn about other community services.
While no longer raising money for scholarships, the Foundation will continue to collect, track and report data on the effect preschool has on kindergarten readiness. Only a multi-agency collaboration could create this momentum for our youngest citizens. CFNLA sincerely thanks the many donors who turned the dream of high-quality preschool into a reality for hundreds of local children. To learn more: cfnla.org/ece.
ECE Community Events
- David Raines Community Center– March 25, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
- Bilberry Park Community Center– April 15, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
- A.B. Palmer Community Center– April 29, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm