Advocates Celebrate State’s ‘Historic’ Investment in Child Care Assistance

BATON ROUGE — From the Ready Louisiana Coalition:

In the final hours of the 2023 legislative session, Louisiana lawmakers prioritized young children and their parents by allocating $44 million in new funding to early care and education. This represents the largest state investment into the Child Care Assistance Program in over a decade.

With child care often representing the largest portion of a family’s budget, and child care breakdowns costing Louisiana businesses over $760 million every year, this truly represents an investment in children, families and businesses. The Ready Louisiana Coalition applauds the legislators who voted for this measure, and in particular thanks Rep. Zee Zeringue, the author of HB 1, and the five other legislators who served on the bill’s conference committee for their leadership: Speaker Clay Schexnayder, Rep. Jason Hughes, President Page Cortez, Sen. Bodi White, and Sen. Gregory Tarver.

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“A child’s earliest years are the most crucial years, with ninety percent of brain development occurring before age four,” said Dr. Libbie Sonnier, executive director of the Louisiana Policy Institute for Children. “This investment means more children are able to have high-quality early learning experiences in this period, setting them up for success in school and in life.”

“As the owner of a high-quality child care center, I see firsthand the role that child care plays in helping families get by and get ahead,” said Rochelle Wilcox, co-founder of For Providers By Providers. “This investment is going to help more parents access what they need, more children arrive at school kindergarten-ready, and more families live stable, empowered lives.”

The Ready Louisiana Coalition is an alliance of more than 150 members representing businesses, chambers of commerce, advocacy groups and civic organizations. The group advocates for investments in early care and education. 

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