DEPARTMENT RELEASES STREAMLINED REGULATIONS AND REPORT CARD FOR PUBLIC COMMENT

Oct 23, 2014

Webinar, Statewide Roundtable Discussions and Survey Offer Multiple Opportunities for Public Input

BATON ROUGE, La. – The Louisiana Department of Education today released a draft of streamlined
licensing regulations for early learning centers in Louisiana. For the first time, licensed providers that take public funding will be required to meet a minimum academic standard in addition to health and safety standards. To illustrate these new academic expectations, the Department has also released sample report cards for early childhood programs and community networks. These report cards will ensure that parents have a clear and simple way to make choices based on how well early childhood programs support children’s development and learning in addition to health and safety practices.

“Connecting an academic expectation to licensing helps ensure that all early childhood programs that take public funding support young children to develop and learn” said  State Superintendent John White. “For too long there have been inconsistent expectations across the different programs, resulting in children falling through the cracks. Establishing a consistent expectation for how early childhood teachers interact with children and support them to learn will help ensure that our young children and families will have equitable access to safe, high-quality early childhood care and education.”

By linking licensing regulations to the report cards, the Department will unify academic expectations for all publicly-funded early childhood programs that serve children from birth to age five including licensed child care centers, Head Start and school-based PreK. At the same time, these streamlined, family friendly regulations help ensure more consistent health and safety regulations across programs, while also reducing redundant measures and enabling more efficient operations.

These sample report cards measure the quality of teacher-child interactions in classrooms, which can predict how well a program prepares children for kindergarten. They also include information on teacher preparation and practices, enrollment and family satisfaction. These report cards are being field tested in seven Community Network Pilots in 2014-2015 with the expectation that all publicly-funded programs will participate in a Learning Year for report cards in 2015-2016.

Starting today, the Department is seeking public input on the licensing regulations and report cards.

There will be a webinar today to review the streamlined regulations, kicking off a series of interactive roundtable discussions statewide. Following statewide outreach, the new Early Childhood Care and Education Advisory Council will provide formal recommendations at its next meeting on November 5. The Department then plans to take the streamlined regulations with the kindergarten readiness expectation to the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) in December. Approved regulations would likely go into effect in summer 2015.

Today, the Department will also launch a brief,
online survey to collect feedback on the report cards. As the report cards are currently being tested in the field, the Department will continue to solicit extensive feedback prior to bringing a report card policy proposal to BESE in June 2015.

To view the proposed licensing regulations, please click
here. After reviewing the proposal, feedback can be submitted by sending an email to earlychildhood@la.gov. There is also a webinar scheduled for Thursday, October 23, 2014, at 2:00 p.m. to provide an opportunity to learn more about these shifts and provide feedback.

The roundtable discussions will be hosted by three Early Childhood Care and Education Community Network Pilots, along with the Department. As seating will be limited, please use the following information to select a roundtable to attend and RSVP:

Lafayette Parish:
Tuesday, October 28, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

  • Vermilion Conference Center
  • 326 Gauthier Road
  • Lafayette, LA


Ouachita Parish:
Wednesday, October 29, 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.

  • Children’s Coalition Office
  • 1363 Louisville Avenue
  • Monroe, LA


Jefferson Parish:
Thursday, October 30, 10 a.m. – Noon

  • Jefferson Parish Public School System Administrative Building
  • 501 Manhattan Blvd.
  • Harvey, LA


For more information on Act 868 of the 2014 Regular Legislative Session which transferred licensing authority to the Department of Education from the Department of Children and Family Services, please click
here.

For more information on Early Childhood Care and Education in Louisiana, please click here.
 

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