More and more it seems that early education is emerging as an issue that’s gaining importance, not only in Louisiana, but across the country.
CABL has long supported early childhood education efforts from the creation of the LA-4 pre-school program nearly 20 years ago to the passage of Act 3 in 2012, which helped transform the early education framework in Louisiana.
Yet, as important as early education is in the cognitive development of children and their preparation for school, it is also becoming a workforce development issue of growing importance to businesses. A recent survey by the Louisiana Policy Institute for Children and LSU found that for parents in the workforce with young children:
- 14% turned down a job promotion because of child care issues
- 18.5% went from full time to part time work
- 16% had to quit their job
- And more than 40% had to miss work or leave early on a regular basis because of child care.
The study further estimates that annually the Louisiana economy loses more than $1 billion a year as a result of lost wages and productivity due to issues with child care. Adding to all of this is the fact that quality child care is expensive – approaching the cost of tuition at some colleges – and publicly supported child care assistance programs have been drastically cut over the last several years leaving many working parents in an economic bind.
All of these issues are explored at length tonight as CABL participates in “Early Education Matters,” a new segment of LPB’s Louisiana Public Square show. The program looks at why business leaders see early education as a top state priority, what the state has done to improve quality child care, and the many issues that affect both parents and child care providers.
The program airs tonight at 7:00 p.m. on LPB affiliates across the state and WLAE in New Orleans. It can be viewed after the broadcast on the LPB website at Louisiana Public Square.
Early education is truly becoming a major issue in Louisiana. “Early Education Matters” offers insights into why that is and the ramifications for the future of our state.