Why Early Childhood Education?
Did you know 90% of brain development occurs from age 0 to age 5? According to the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, a child’s experiences during the earliest years of life have a lasting impact on the architecture of the developing brain.
The Louisiana Childcare Assistance Program, or CCAP, provides financial assistance to low-income families (while parents are working or attending school) for high quality childcare. In the fall of 2019 in Caddo Parish there were 842 children enrolled with 188 on the waiting list. In the fall of 2019 in Bossier Parish there were 160 children enrolled while 40 children were on the waiting list.
According to the most recent Louisiana Department of Education data, 59% of children in both Caddo and Bossier Parishes were not kindergarten ready. The Louisiana Legislature established the Early Childhood Education Fund to match non-state, non-federal (local, private) funds spent on quality early care and for centers participating in the quality rating system or those eligible to receive CCAP-funded students. The state fund will provide a dollar-for-dollar match for every local dollar raised.
Nobel Prize winning University of Chicago Economics Professor James Heckman’s research shows that high-quality, birth-to-five early childhood education provides a return on investment or ROI of 13%.