Dear Friends and Partners,
We are excited to share that Early Ed Month 2023 was an enormous success. Over 450 parents, advocates, business leaders, and elected officials across the state participated in 12 events throughout the month.
We kicked off last month with a Keynote Address by Dana Suskind. Dr. Suskind discussed how a child’s potential depends on their parents' support, and offers a blueprint—derived from the science of healthy brain development—for a society oriented around children and families during the formative early years. Dr. Suskind currently serves as the Co-Director of the TMW Center for Early Learning + Public Health at the University of Chicago. Click here to watch the recording.
In partnership with Agenda for Children, the Louisiana Department of Education, and Women United of Southeast Louisiana, we conducted our annual parent survey of Louisiana parents and guardians with children under the age of 5 in the fall of 2022. The Parent Poll Conference focused on the child care arrangements of surveyed families, including their needs and experiences related to child care. Click here to watch the recording.
On Thursday, February 23rd, we co-hosted a Parent Advocacy Lunch & Learn with Power Coalition for Equity and Justice which taught parents how to communicate and engage with their elected officials at the state and local levels. Click here to watch the recording.
We ended the month with the Child Care & the Economy Business Breakfast Briefing, co-hosted with the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI). Keynote speaker Jack McBride, Founder and CEO, Contec Inc., discussed the importance of child care and the impacts it has on the workforce and the economy. This event was co-hosted by the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry and the Louisiana Policy Institute for Children. Click here to watch the recording.
Early Ed Month 2023 would not be possible without our sponsors! Thank you to Entergy Corporation, LLC for being the title sponsor and to Jones Walker LLP, Gulf Coast Bank & Trust Company, Committee of 100 for Economic Development, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, Geaux Far Louisiana, Cartel Strategies, Clara's Little Lambs, Save the Children Action Network, ResourceFull Consulting, Agenda for Children, Gambel Communications, For Providers by Providers, Pelican Partners, Urban League of Louisiana, Power Coalition For Equity and Justice, Emergent Method, Mele Printing, and Baptist Community Ministries.
We also want to thank the Louisiana Early Childhood Business Roundtable, Louisiana Association of United Ways, United Way of Southeast Louisiana, United Way of Northwest Louisiana, United Way of Southwest Louisiana, Capital Area United Way, United Way of Acadiana, United Way of Central Louisiana, and the United Way of Northeast Louisiana for your continued partnership.
Also in February, Governor John Bel Edwards released the final executive budget of his administration. This proposal includes $51 million in ongoing state money for increased access for child care and $26 million in one-time money to be directed to the Louisiana Early Childhood Education Fund, which offers locals a dollar-for-dollar match on their access efforts. We applaud Governor Edwards for this recommendation, while acknowledging that the state faces a $200 million child care fiscal cliff when federal funds expire this year, eliminating 16,000 seats for in-need children statewide. Louisiana cannot afford to go backwards on this issue, so we urge legislators to use every available resource to support our youngest learners.
With the 2023 legislative session just around the corner, we couldn’t be more grateful that early care and education was highlighted so well in February. Thank you for advocating on behalf of young children and families in Louisiana!