Jan 15, 2015

Department Announces Third Cohort of Early Childhood Education Network Pilot Communities

BATON ROUGE, La. – The Louisiana Department of Education today announced the 33 community network pilots, representing 36 districts, in cohort three of the Early Childhood Care and Education Network pilots. With today’s announcement, all of the state’s school districts are now participating in the new statewide system ahead of full implementation in August 2015. In 2012, the Louisiana Legislature passed
Act 3, creating the network, which calls on the state to take a system of early childhood that is fragmented into multiple, inequitable systems and unify it under one set of standards. The statewide expansion of the network pilots increases the number of at-risk children who stand to benefit to more than 215,000. The first cohort of pilots launched in July 2013.

“Too few students arrive in kindergarten equipped with basic skills needed for success in kindergarten,” said State Superintendent John White. “These 36 communities have committed to unifying all early childhood providers – child care, Head Start, and pre-kindergarten – under a call for high expectations.”

The 33 new pilots will receive more than $3 million to prepare teachers to teach to high developmental and academic standards, as well as to provide all families equal and easy access to the center or school of their choice.

The new pilots will also benefit from working closely with previous cohorts of pilots. Later this month, current pilots will help launch the new pilots, sharing lessons learned and best practices. Current pilots will receive funding through at least the 2015-16 year and will continue to improve their systems for professional development and coordinated enrollment.

“St. Bernard Parish School Board is excited to be a part of Cohort 3. Building on our history of providing high quality Pre-K and Head Start, we are bringing child care providers together to work collaboratively to prepare our children for kindergarten,” said St. Bernard Parish Superintendent Doris Voitier.

The Louisiana State Legislature created the Early Childhood Network because the state has multiple early childhood programs operating with public funds but widely varying expectations for children.  Pilots will bring together publicly-funded early childhood programs and commit to:

  • Training teachers and leaders to use high standards for children
  • Using shared tools to evaluate teachers and assess children’s progress
  • Ensure all teachers have access to professional development and receive ongoing feedback and coaching
  • Use a coordinated enrollment process for all programs for fall 2016
  • Identify all at-risk infant-to-age-five children in the community in need and plan to serve all eligible four-year-olds by June 30, 2016

"St. Mary Parish Educational Network is excited to be the recipient of the cohort three funding. We are committed to expanding Early Childhood Development Services in our Community," said Almetra Franklin, Head Start Administrator for the St. Mary Community Action Agency.

"This is just another step forward for us. Together, this Network is planning to make positive changes,” said St. Mary Parish Superintendent Dr. Donald Aguillard.

For a list of coordinating districts in cohort 3, please click

For more information on Early Childhood Education in Louisiana, please click

For a presentation on the Early Childhood Policy Blueprint, please click

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