Research and Reports

Here you will find the latest research and reports

addressing early childhood care and education.


Policy Institute Releases New Report with 
Recommendations on Improving Early Care
and Education Provider Quality
Louisiana Policy Institute for Children



The Louisiana Policy Institute for Children has released a new report, CLASS Matters: Increasing Quality in Louisiana Early Childhood Programs. Louisiana has implemented a new rating system, which provides a quality rating for every early care and education program in the state based on the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) assessment. The CLASS is an observational instrument used to assess classroom quality. It describes multiple dimensions of teaching that are linked to child development and achievement. 


This report offers data-informed recommendations to assist with improving early care and education provider quality and teacher practice, as measured by CLASS. The report and recommendations are based on analyses of the first two years of Louisiana CLASS data, interviews with 18 stakeholders across the state, and a review of national research around improving teacher practice, child outcomes, and CLASS scores.


Key findings from data analyses, interviews, and national research include:


  • Teachers with higher levels of education experienced higher CLASS scores

  • Stakeholders view the CLASS assessment positively and especially like the tool’s focus on teacher-child interactions

  • Lowering child-teacher ratios and increasing child assessment use positively affects CLASS scores

  • Stakeholders and national research agree – access to high-quality professional development and coaching support improved teacher practice and children’s learning


Based on these findings, LPIC recommends state- and local-level actions focused on supporting quality improvements and increasing access. Specific recommendations are listed below. Early drafts of the report and recommendations were shared with Louisiana Department of Education (LDE) staff, the Early Childhood Care and Education Advisory Council and the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) members, and have already supported policy and regulatory changes approved this spring and summer, including those noted below: 


  • Separate the Proficient rating category into two categories to distinguish differences in quality for higher-performing providers and to better differentiate supports (Included in rules passed by BESE April 2018)

  • Add infant classrooms to the rating system, ensuring adequate support, and consider increasing the infant reimbursement rate (Adding infant classrooms to the rating system was included in rules passed by BESE April 2018)

  • Provide additional targeted training and support to teachers and administrators, focusing on providers in the Approaching Proficient range, including evidence-based coaching and CLASS-specific training, and offering at times convenient for providers (Partially included in rules passed by BESE April 2018)

  • Develop a state professional development plan based on a gap analysis of current opportunities and pilot any new models or systems with a variety of provider types and across age levels

  • Increase access to low/no-cost education training programs for non-lead teachers to help address teacher talent pool shortages (LDE changed its policies to include this starting July 1, 2018)

  • Incorporate classroom environment checklist to guide teachers in classroom setup and organization

  • Fund additional grants for high-quality materials

  • Increase uniformity of CLASS observation procedures across regions, including notification, local observer, and observation windows 

  • Reduce maximum class-size ratios for child care centers (Rules passed by BESE June 2018 reduced teacher

      efficacy of services


To read the full report click here. To read a Report Summary click here. 




Workforce of Today, Workforce of Tomorrow:
The Business Case for High-Quality Child Care
US Chamber of Commerce Foundation
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Center for Education and Workforce has released a report to explore the under-recognized role of high-quality childcare in the education and workforce pipeline. By laying the crucial groundwork for tomorrow’s workforce and promoting a strong workforce today, high-quality childcare provides a powerful two-generation approach to building the human capital that a prosperous and sustainable America requires. It supports parents: increasing completion of postsecondary education, raising labor force participation, increasing workforce productivity, and helping business attract and retain talent. And it ensures that children have the chance to develop well and begin kindergarten ready to thrive in school, work, and life.


For American business, advancing high-quality childcare is a winning proposition. It’s a wise investment in America’s future—strengthening business today while building the workforce we’ll depend on tomorrow and for decades to come.


For the full report, click here.

For the list of ten simple things the business community can do to advance access to high-quality child care, click here and scroll down.




Losing Ground- How Child Care Impacts Louisiana's
Workforce Productivity and the State Economy
Louisiana State University Public Policy Research Lab 
Louisiana Policy Institute for Children


The Louisiana Policy Institute for Children collaborated with LSU's Public Policy Research Lab (PPRL) and other researchers to understand the impact of child care issues on Louisiana's workforce, businesses and the economy. 


The first-of-its-kind study found the following:

  • Employee absences and turnover costs due to child care issues cost Louisiana employers $816 million a year;

  • Child care issues result in a $1.1 billion loss annually for Louisiana's economy; and

  • Louisiana loses almost $84 million in tax revenue annually due to lost workplace productivity.


To view the full report, click here.

For a copy of the press release, please click here

For a one-page brief about the report, click here.




Giving Credit Where It's Due- School Readiness Tax 
Credits Benefit Louisiana Families and Communities
Louisiana Policy Institute for Children 
Louise Stoney  
Education Research Solutions

A new report from the Louisiana Policy Institute for Children shows the School Readiness Tax Credits stand out as a national model for effecting positive change without ballooning costs.


The Report concludes that these tax credits have been an effective policy lever in:

  • Supporting an industry of small businesses—child care centers—that is critical for the state’s  families and local economies;

  • Supporting enhanced quality in the early care and education sector

  • Creating greater access to higher quality care for at-risk young children;

  • Incentivizing teachers of young children to strengthen their credentials;

  • Increasing awareness and use of higher quality programs;

  • Incentivizing local investment in early care and education; and

  • Improving outcomes for Louisiana’s young children


To view the full Report, click here.

To view the Press Release for the Report, click here.

To view an explanation of what the Louisiana School Readiness Tax Credits are, click here