Early Childhood Care and Education Network

Louisiana is progressing toward a unified Early Childhood System, which was directed by Act 3 of the 2012 Regular Legislative Session. In the past the early childhood system has been too fragmented, resulting in too few children prepared to be successful in kindergarten. When fully implemented in 2015-2016, the local networks will expand access to high quality, publicly-funded early childhood programs to families across Louisiana to ensure more children enter school kindergarten ready.

Vision for a Unified System of Early Childhood in Louisiana

Fragmented System

Children are falling through the cracks and are not consistently prepared 

Teachers are not equally prepared nor rewarded for their work 

Families do not have easy-to-use information to make the best choice

Providers are subject to inconsistent expectations and do not have equitable resources to achieve outcomes

Unified System

Common, high standards for what children should learn and what excellent teaching looks

Teachers who are excellent at interacting with children and guiding learning are supported and rewarded
Families apply through shared processes and are satisfied with their children’s experience 

Consistent expectations for health, safety and learning and adequate funding levels across programs based on serving children well

Since 2013, 31 communities have volunteered to lead the way as pilot networks. They are building unified early childhood systems through innovative, coordinated approaches to ensure all children enter kindergarten ready to succeed. Community Network Pilots have demonstrated what can be achieved in unifying systems, and are guiding the state through the work of implementing Act 3. Led by these communities, in the 2014-2015 school year the state is hoping to expand the early childhood community network pilots to include all communities across the state.

In the final year of the first phase of implementation, the state will working with communities to:

  • Develop policies to fully unify the statewide early childhood system, which includes:
    • Unifying expectations for providers
    • Supporting all teachers to be excellent
    • Giving families equitable access to quality options
  • Expand early childhood pilots statewide