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Kids wait to receive teddy bears at Kingsley House in New Orleans, Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019. Plush Appeal and Krewe of Hermes distributed about 1,000 Hermes teddy bears with the help of Santa Claus.

As a small-business owner and president of the Kingsley House board, I see firsthand how early childhood education and care are critical to the success of my company, and to making our city and state’s economy work. Scientific studies show that early education and care for children from low-income households improve high school graduation rates, college attendance, adult employment and earnings, and even lifelong health outcomes, resulting in a 13% annual return on investment for society as a whole.

This kind of ROI is not only hard to find but near impossible!

In New Orleans, we have more than 6,000 workers with children who don’t have access to early childhood education and care. Without such access, many of these employees report getting fired, quitting jobs, reducing from full to part-time employment, and turning down promotions. This adversely affects workers, families, employers, and our state’s economy. How big of an impact? Child care issues cost Louisiana employers $762 million per year due to absences and turnover and resulted in a loss of more than $1.3 billion for Louisiana’s economy.

Thankfully, we have a solution in New Orleans through the Early Childhood Education and Care Proposition. For about $5 each month for a home value of $200,000, we can make a smart investment in our future by providing access to quality early education programs for New Orleans children. If approved by voters April 30, this proposition would provide access to early education for thousands of New Orleans children age three and under. This will not only positively impact families and our local economy, but also significantly increase our economic competitiveness throughout the state and region.

The Early Childhood Education and Care Proposition is good for New Orleans.

RICHARD J. ROTH III

president, Kingsley House Board of Directors

New Orleans


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