The Louisiana Department of Education is awarding $11 million in federal funding to child care providers through a grant, funded by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security, or CARES, Act. The money is supposed to be used to support early learning sites that safely remained open or reopened during the state’s coronavirus shutdown. The deadline for submitting the LaCAP Round 4 Grant application is Thursday, October 22, 2020.
State Superintendent of Education Dr. Cade Brumley said that the state needed more money than it was receiving
“to close the gaps in access to high-quality child care,” but wouldn’t turn down “much needed” federal funds. The money would “help our centers keep their doors open for the children they are currently serving.”
According to a survey conducted by the Louisiana Policy Institute for Children, the majority of child care providers have reported a loss in revenue– and a significant number are facing temporary or permanent closures. (Obviously, since Gov. John Bel Edwards has continued to keep the state in lockdown and its unemployment rate has soured.)
Prior to the state’s shutdown, less than 7 percent of economically disadvantaged children from age 0-2 and less than 33 percent of economically disadvantaged three-year-olds were able to access early care and education through public funding, the agency states.
The Louisiana Early Childhood Care and Education Commission has demonstrated the need for increased funding in its report, Funding Our Future: LA B to 3. The Commission plans to convene this fall and to make recommendations for additional funding for early care and education to the Louisiana Legislature in January of 2021.