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Ready Louisiana Coalition 2022 Legislative
Joint Statement

The Ready Louisiana Coalition — a nonpartisan, nonpolitical group of more than 115 chambers of commerce, civic organizations, businesses, and advocacy organizations representing more than 1 million people in Louisiana’s workforce — believes that investing in high-quality early care and education will prepare our youngest children for a smart start in life, enable families to be productive in the workforce, and serve as an economic engine for communities across Louisiana.

We, the Ready Louisiana Coalition, urge the Legislature to appropriate $94 million of state funds to early care and education programs which will:

  • Expand access for at-risk children, birth to age three, to receive full-time, year-round quality care;

  • Improve quality for LA4 programs, which has been shown to produce positive long-term outcomes for the children who participate in it;

  • Incentivize local investment in early care and education by using one-time funds to offer communities a dollar-for-dollar match on their efforts;

  • Give thousands of parents the support they need to be productive members of the workforce while choosing the high-quality early care and education programs that work best for their children;

  • Grow early care and education jobs needed to serve children in communities all across the state;

  • Support child care businesses across Louisiana, ensuring they continue providing high-quality experiences preparing our youngest learners to enter kindergarten while their parents work, look for work, or go to school; and

  • Strengthen the Louisiana economy, which loses $1.3 billion a year due to the impacts of child care breakdowns on working parents.

 

Louisiana needs to invest more in children.

For three years, Louisiana has experienced a budget surplus while spending less than one-half of 1% of its revenue on the early care and education of our youngest children. The legislatively created Early Childhood Care and Education Commission charted a course in 2019 with the LA B to 3 Report, finding that there were 114,000 at-risk children birth to age 3 in the state who did not have access to quality early care and education experiences, and that we needed to invest over the next decade to ensure that all Louisiana children begin kindergarten ready to succeed.
 

Investing in early care and education is one of the best investments we can make, with a return on investment of up to 13% per year. Appropriating $44 million in ongoing state funds and $50 million in one-time funds to improve preschool programs, expand access to child care assistance, and incentivize greater local investment in early care and education is the right choice for Louisiana in 2022. As we invest more in children, the state spends less on remedial education, social programs, and criminal justice in the long-term, while helping children learn and parents work today. Children only get one chance at childhood and one chance at learning the fundamentals—how to count, how to talk, how to process. Let’s take action for children now.

 

Louisiana workers need support to access quality child care.

Louisiana employers lose hundreds of millions every year from employee absences and turnover due to child care issues. The lack of affordable, quality early care affects not only the workforce of tomorrow, but has a substantial impact on the workforce of today in terms of worker participation and productivity. Economic studies show that states all over the country are losing hundreds of millions, if not billions, in economic activity due to child care breakdowns—and Louisiana loses $1.3 billion a year.

The pandemic highlighted a stark reality for many Louisiana families and businesses—parents cannot go to work without access to reliable care for their children. Families are the foundation of our communities, but too many Louisiana families are struggling to pay bills and put food on the table. While two-thirds of Louisiana children have both of their parents or their single parent in the workforce, less than 15% of children under age 4 from low-income households have access to a quality, publicly funded early care and education program. We know the consequences of our growing income gap. Without accessible, affordable early care and education, our children will endure an opportunity gap as well. 

 

We, the Ready Louisiana Coalition, urge our leaders to invest $94 million in early care and education programs during the 2022 General Session to ensure children have the quality early learning experiences they need and to support Louisiana working families.

The Following 96 Organizations Join In Support of This Statement
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Gulf Coast Resources

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Hayes Strategic Solutions

Innovations in Education

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MMB LA LLC

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Early Learning Focus

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​Business Organizations
  1. Baton Rouge Area Chamber
  2. Business Council of New Orleans
  3. Central City Chamber of Commerce
  4. Central Louisiana Regional Chamber of Commerce 
  5. Chamber Southwest Louisiana
  6. Committee of 100 for Economic Development, Inc.
  7. Committee of 100 of Northwest Louisiana
  8. Gambel Communications
  9. Greater New Orleans Inc.
  10. Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce
  11. Gulf Coast Resources Louisiana
  12. Pelican State Partners
  13. Hispanic Chamber of New Orleans
  14. Innovations in Education
  15. Jefferson Business Council
  16. Jefferson Chamber
  17. Jones Walker, LLP
  18. Kenner Business Association
  19. Learning Matters LLC
  20. Link Restaurant Group
  21. Louisiana Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives
  22. Louisiana Association of Business & Industry
  23. Louisiana Early Childhood Business Roundtable
  24. Monroe Chamber of Commerce
  25. MMB LA LLC
  26. Natchitoches Chamber
  27. New Orleans Business Alliance
  28. New Orleans Chamber
  29. New Orleans Regional Black Chamber of Commerce
  30. North Louisiana Economic Partnership
  31. Northshore Business Council 
  32. One Acadiana
  33. River Region Chamber of Commerce
  34. Ruston Kiwanis
  35. Ruston Lincoln Chamber of Commerce
  36. Resourcefull Consulting 
  37. Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance
  38. St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce
  39. The New Orleans Coalition
  40. Visions Consulting Firm
Faith Organizations
  1. Bread or Stones Campaign
  2. National Council of Jewish Women, Greater New Orleans Section
​United Ways
  1. Capital Area United Way
  2. Louisiana Association of United Ways
  3. St. John United Way
  4. St. Landry Evangeline United Way
  5. United Way of Acadiana
  6. United Way of Central Louisiana 
  7. United Way of Iberia
  8. United Way of Northeast Louisiana
  9. United Way of Northwest Louisiana
  10. United Way of Southeast Louisiana
  11. United Way of Southwest Louisiana
  12. Women United – United Way of Southeast Louisiana
  13. Women United – United Way of Southwest Louisiana
  14. Women United – St. Landry Evangeline United Way
​Community & Advocacy Organizations
  1. Agenda for Children 
  2. American Association of University Women of Louisiana
  3. American Heart Association
  4. Baton Rouge Alliance for Students
  5. Baton Rouge Early Childhood Education Collaborative 
  6. Center for Development and Learning
  7. Child Care Association of Louisiana 
  8. Children’s Coalition of Northeast Louisiana  
  9. Community Foundation of North Louisiana
  10. Citizens for One Greater New Orleans
  11. Democrats for Education Reform 
  12. Early Learning Focus
  13. Education Right Now Louisiana
  14. Ellevate Louisiana
  15. Forum 225
  16. Health and Education Alliance of Louisiana
  17. Independent Women’s Organization
  18. Institute of Mental Hygiene  
  19. Jefferson Early Childhood Collaborative Network
  20. League of Women Voters of Louisiana 
  21. Lift Louisiana
  22. Louisiana Budget Project
  23. Louisiana CASA
  24. Louisiana Children’s Museum
  25. Louisiana Chapter - American Association of Pediatrics
  26. Louisiana NOW
  27. Louisiana Partnership for Children and Families
  28. Louisiana Policy Institute for Children
  29. Louisiana Progress
  30. Louisiana Public Health Institute
  31. National Council of 100 Black Women, Greater New Orleans Chapter
  32. New Orleans Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
  33. New Orleans NOW
  34. NSU Child and Family Network
  35. Orleans Public Education Network
  36. Ready Start Jefferson
  37. Save the Children Action Network
  38. Step Forward
  39. Stand for Children Louisiana
  40. The Early Childhood Development Center of Avoyelles
  41. The Education Trust
  42. The Power Coalition for Equity & Justice
  43. Urban League of Louisiana 
  44. University of Louisiana at Lafayette- Blanco Center
  45. Volunteers of America Greater Baton Rouge 
  46. YMCA Capital Area
Child Care Providers
  1. Beary Cherry Tree Child Development Center
  2. Carlie Care Kids
  3. Creative Kidz & Creative Kidz II
  4. East St. Tammany Rainbow Child Care Center, Inc. 
  5. Jolly Kids Early Learning Center
  6. Kids of Excellence
  7. Kingsley House
  8. My Training Grounds
  9. Open Minds Open Hearts Daycare Center
  10. Weatherford Academy Learning
  11. Wilcox Learning Academy
  12. Young Scholars Academy