We would like to thank state Rep. Walt Leger III for his leadership during the legislative session on behalf of Louisiana’s children, ages birth through 4 years.
Much has been written about the bills involving Common Core, but little has been said about the legislation that passed involving early childhood education. These new statutes are a continuation of the implementation of the Early Childhood Education Act (Act 3) of the 2012 session that mandated an overhaul of how our state governs, judges and ultimately funds our child care and pre-K programs.
Given that over 70 percent of young children in Louisiana have both parents in the workforce and that high-quality child care costs almost as much as a public college tuition, and given that early brain development establishes the foundation for all future learning, effective implementation of Act 3 is essential. Children who begin school behind typically remain behind. If our children are going to be successful in school, then their early learning experiences must be of high quality.
We appreciate Leger’s work to ensure not only the passage of the early childhood bills, but his work to ensure that these bills incorporated effective policies on behalf of our youngest citizens.
executive director, Policy Institute for Children