*Most current news will always be at the top of the list.

  • December 09, 2013 12:43 PM | Anonymous

    More than 500 state lawmakers from 49 states have signed a letter urging Congressional budget writers to increase federal spending on early childhood education.

    The letter, delivered to Capitol Hill Thursday, urges Congress to prioritize early childhood education to “provide greater access to children in need, and produce better education, health and economic outcomes.” The letter does not call for a specific amount of spending, nor does it suggest a source for the money.

    “We believe that maintaining and expanding high quality early childhood education is an effective and efficient expenditure even when budgets are tight,” the letter states. “We urge you to make these investments in young children a priority in your deliberations.”

    The letter, coordinated by the First Five Years Fund, an early childhood education advocacy group, includes signatures from 437 Democrats, 67 Republicans and one Independent. The lawmakers come from every state but Indiana. According to recent poll, early childhood education is a rare issue that enjoys bipartisan public support.

    President Barack Obama has proposed making high-quality preschool available to every four-year-old. To pay for it, he has suggested increasing the federal tax on cigarettes by 94 cents a pack (from $1.01 to $1.95), which would generate an estimated $78 billion for preschool over 10 years.  Obama has said he is open to alternatives to that approach, which has not attracted much support.

    The Strong Start for America’s Children Act, which is being pushed by Democrats but has a handful of Republican supporters, would create federal-state partnerships to provide prekindergarten to low- and moderate-income children. The measure would send federal money to states to help them pay for prekindergarten for 4-year-olds from families earning below 200 percent of the federal poverty level, or $47,100.

     “Increasing federal funding in early childhood education, as proposed in the bipartisan Strong Start for America’s Children Act, is the way to help states and families create opportunities for young children,” said Kris Perry, executive director of the First Five Years Fund. “Such federal investments will support states as they grow their programs, serve more children and families and develop robust early childhood systems which will more than pay for themselves.”

    Supporters of early childhood education point to research that shows it is a good investment. James Heckman, an economist at the University of Chicago, argues that every dollar invested in early childhood education results in a $7 return based on increased school and career achievement and reduced costs in remedial education, health care and the criminal justice system. Critics, such as Grover “Russ” Whitehurst , director of the Brown Center on Education Policy at the left-leaning Brookings Institution, argue the evidence is mixed at best.

    Meanwhile, states have forged ahead with a wide variety of policies on early childhood education. A recent reportby the Education Commission of the States  looking at 38 bills from 25 states during the 2013 legislative sessions found that state legislatures this year strengthened oversight of early childhood programs, expanded access to high-quality early childhood programs and redirected funding to early childhood education. Minnesota created a new prekindergarten scholarship program for low-income families and Hawaii and Mississippi established statewide voluntary prekindergarten programs, for example.
  • November 29, 2013 3:52 PM | Anonymous

    We are sharing news that our friend, Geoffrey Nagle, has been named president and CEO of the Erikson Institute.  Geoff served as a member of the Partnership’s Board for many years and truly has been the architect of the good early childhood work that has taken place in our state for the last decade.  We will miss him.  Here’s the link to the full news release: 

    I know I speak for so many in our state in thanking Geoff for his leadership and congratulating him on this new and exciting endeavor.  We wish him and his family the best!


    Sherry Guarisco,

    Louisiana Partnership for Children & Families



    Geoffrey A. Nagle named president of Erikson

    November 25, 2013 

    Geoffrey A. Nagle, a leader in early childhood policy and research, has been named president and CEO of Erikson Institute, effective January 1, 2014.

    He also will hold the Irving and Neison Harris President’s Chair.

    “Geoff is an innovative 21st century leader who will help guide Erikson undefined and the entire early childhood field undefined to new levels of influence and impact,” says Kate Neisser, chair of the Board of Trustees and member of the search committee. “His presidency will build on Erikson’s history of leadership, while also extending its entrepreneurialism in the service of children and families.”

    Nagle is currently the director of the Tulane Institute of Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health and associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Tulane University School of Medicine. He is also a licensed clinical social worker.

    A record of success

    While at Tulane, Nagle worked closely with Louisiana government leaders to strengthen the state’s early childhood system and expand high-quality early care and education. His advocacy resulted in Quality Start, Louisiana’s child care quality rating system, and laws creating the Early Childhood System Integration Budget and School Readiness Tax Credits.

    He is a prolific researcher, focusing on the economic benefits of prevention and the influence of early childhood research on public policy decisions. Additionally, Nagle’s deep social work experience will help inform the launch of Erikson’s M.S.W. degree program in 2014.

    Nagle succeeds Samuel J. Meisels, who ended his 11-year presidency in June to become the founding executive director of the University of Nebraska’s Buffett Early Childhood Institute. Since June, professors Barbara Bowman and Frances Stott have served as interim co-presidents.

    “Geoff’s record of successfully advocating for some of the most vulnerable children and families makes him an exceptional choice for Erikson,” says Bowman, who also is a co-founder of Erikson. “Geoff understands and embodies Erikson’s founding commitment to help all children, regardless of their background, reach their potential.”

    Introducing President Geoffrey Nagle

    A native of New York City and raised in Connecticut, Nagle studied political science at Duke University. Drawn to the promise of creating social change through mass media, he worked for five years in the film industry in Los Angeles. Looking to work more directly with children, he then traveled to Central and South America to serve as an English teacher and volunteer with orphaned and sick children.

    Inspired by his experiences, Nagle returned to the U.S. to pursue a Master of Social Work and a Master of Public Health from Tulane University. While working for the Louisiana Office of Public Health, he completed his doctoral work at Tulane in mental health policy research, an interdisciplinary degree that combined social work, biostatistics, and epidemiology.

    “I am excited to join the talented students, researchers, educators, alumni, and trustees of the Erikson community,” says Nagle. “Now is a moment of change and opportunity as the nation continues to examine the policies and programs that will impact children from birth to 3rd grade, and even beyond. Together, we will continue leading innovative change for our nation’s most precious asset, our children.”

    Nagle and his wife, Gabriela, have two children, Jake (13) and Juliana (4).


  • November 22, 2013 1:47 PM | Anonymous

    Plan now to attend the Fourth National Summit on Quality in Home Visiting Programs, January 29-30, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency in Washington, DC.

    Registration information and a fuller agenda is available at


    Panels will focus on enhancing quality in home visiting; policy and financing; break-through system changes; adaptations and enhancements to evidence-based models; and more.

    They are excited to announce an exciting line-up of speakers and feature breakout sessions on important topics. You will hear from:

    • Andrew Garner, M.D., Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine on the importance of the early days
    • Bill McInturff, principal at Public Opinion Strategies on public opinion and messaging strategies for home visiting
    • Mary Dozier, Ph.D., University of Delaware on interventions that work
    • Kathryn Edin, Ph.D., Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University on fathers and home visiting
    • Brenda Jones-Harden, Ph.D., Department of Human Development and  Quantitative Methodology, University of Maryland, College Park on preventive measures to reduce toxic stress and many more home visiting experts.

    The Summit is jointly hosted by the Pew Charitable Trusts, Every Child Succeeds, and the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

  • November 07, 2013 11:34 AM | Anonymous

    New Study Offers Insights into Strengths and Needs of Early Care and Education Workforce

    The early care and education workforce is more highly educated and more stable than previously believed, according to a new study from HHS’ Administration for Children and Families (ACF). The study finds that 53 percent of center-based early care and education providers have at least an associate degree.  This is an increase from the 36 percent indicated in previous studies.

    “Improving access to high quality early learning is a key element of the administration’s education agenda,” said HHS’ Acting Assistant Secretary for Children and Families Mark Greenberg.  “We have made an unprecedented effort to improve child care training, health and safety regulations and professional development. We have also strengthened Head Start through new quality monitoring and requirements for competition, as well as increasing the education requirements for Head Start providers.”

    Despite these improvements, some challenges remain.  The median income for a full-time center-based provider is just $22,000 per year and 24 percent of providers report having no health insurance.  President Obama’s Early Learning Initiative would link the salaries of early education providers who have a bachelor’s degree with the salary of their peers teaching K-12. 

    “Despite low pay and benefits, we find that the average early child care provider has stayed in the career field for more than ten years,” said HHS’ Deputy Assistant Secretary for Early Childhood Development Linda Smith.  “This suggests that investments in strengthening the early care and education workforce can have long-lasting returns.”

    The study was based on surveys completed by more than 10,000 early childhood care providers in 2012 and provides the first thorough picture of the early care and education workforce in two decades.  Understanding and improving the early care and education workforce is essential because these providers not only support working parents, but also help educate and care for children during the most rapid period of brain development – from birth to five years old.

    The full study is available at


    To learn more about this administration’s Early Learning Initiative, please visit

  • September 30, 2013 9:58 PM | Anonymous
    The Early Childhood Advisory Council was authorized by Executive Order on September 3, 2013. To access the official document and the listing of who sits on the ECAC, click here.
  • September 23, 2013 9:16 AM | Anonymous

    Judge Richard Ware, former chairman of the

    Louisiana Children’s Trust Fund Board of Directors, was a “living” testament to the  importance of prevention of child abuse and neglect.  He served as an advocate for all of Louisiana ’s children and fought on their behalf.  Judge Ware often said: “The most precious gift a person has is his or her Time here on earth.”  He chose to use his time for the betterment of tomorrow by helping children. Although his time was tragically shortened, he left behind examples we must continue to set as standards.  This award, sponsored by the Louisiana Children’s Trust Fund, is established in his honor.  It is to recognize an individual who works in child abuse and neglect prevention and is an example of the extra commitment to children set by Judge Ware. 

    Past recipients include: 

    • Judge Billy Ezell
    • Judge Nancy Konrad
    • Judge Salvadore Mule’
    • Brenda Kelley
    • Lucy McGough
    • Carol Christopher
    • Kay Kay Warner
    • Myra Magee
    • Dr. Stewart Gordon
    • Dr. Margaret Pereboom
    • Dot Thibodeaux
    • Danna Spayde
    • Ronnie Rossitto
    • Dr. Rebecca “Becky” White
    • Judy Watts
    • Dr. Gerald “Gary” P. Mallon, DSW
    • Kerry Andersen

    INSTRUCTIONS: Entries must be submitted on this form only.  You can request a copy of the form via e-mail by e-mailing

    Michele Rabalais.  No additional information will be accepted (i.e. resumes, vitae, etc.).  All information must be provided.  Entries must be submitted via postal mail or e-mail by October 14, 2013.  If you are submitting form by e-mail please send to:  Michele Rabalais.



  • August 20, 2013 4:42 PM | Anonymous
    The facts about the 188,193 infants and toddlers in Louisiana tell us an important story of what it is like to be a very young child in this state and the important resources that can change the future life course for the many children who are not getting off to the best start. Read the State Baby Facts: Louisiana.
  • July 11, 2013 1:30 PM | Anonymous

    Please take just a moment to complete this simple survey concerning the disability community for the Advocacy Center. The survey results will be considered when the board and staff meet to determine the direction of the agency over the next 3 years.  Will you please complete the survey? We would like you to also share the link.

    The survey can be found here:

    It is available in PDF form here. If you chose the PDF version:  fill it out, print it and mail it to the Advocacy Center, 8325 Oak Street, New Orleans LA 70118.

    If you have any questions please contact Stephanie Patrick at (504) 522-2337 or 800-960-7705 ext. #143

     HURRY! The deadline is July 15th!

  • June 07, 2013 1:22 PM | Anonymous
    The Louisiana Partnership for Children and Families is becoming a respected voice for independent information, research and information for policy makers, stakeholders and the public at large around issues related to early childhood in Louisiana. The Partnership’s position this Session was defensive--not introducing any bills but working to make the bills introduced by others better, and to defend the tax credits. Critical proposed legislation:

    School Readiness Tax Credits. 
    SRTC remained whole and will not be changed before 2015. There were a number of bills that would have reduced them, changed them by way of statute, or allowed BESE to change them by regulation, and all were defeated or amended. Ultimately, only House Bill 698 passed. It preserves the current credits and essentially provides that a statute will be introduced in the 2015 Session to align the credits with the new rating system.

    Senate Bill 130, Implementation of Act 3. 
    Died in the House. The reason for its failure may have had little to do with the bill’s content. The Partnership was concerned that the bill contained verbiage suggesting elimination of the current Quality Start system and continued to allude to a system based on child outcomes (although it did also refer to assessing the “quality” of “programs”). It also continued the concept of assigning programs a letter grade. The Partnership was also concerned that SB 130 repealed the LA 4 statute that specified the quality components of that program and provided for a statewide enrollment system. By contrast, SB 130 also contained some excellent provisions including allowing child care centers to apply directly to the state for LA 4 (and not through school districts), a provision of four years before a program could lose its funding based on its rating, the recognition that the Network includes children from birth to age 5, a provision that allowed centers not taking public funding to be able to participate in the Network, a mandate to align the funding requirements of the early childhood programs, a requirement that BESE submit all plans and recommendations to implement the Network to BrightStart, CCAL and the Non-Public School Council, and that beginning December 2013, BESE would be required to report to these entities regarding the progress of the Network semi-annually. Many of these provisions were included/added due to the Partnership’s advocacy.

    Although SB 130 died, Act 3 is still the law and most of the provisions of SB 130 can be enacted through regulation. However, unlike Act 3, SB 130 did specify that BESE shall allocate funding to members of the Network based on the rating system. Furthermore, the rating system is not supposed to actually begin to rate centers until the 2014 school year and there will be another session before then. The delay may provide opportunities for advocacy, and for the pilots to inform the policies that will ultimately be enacted as they were.

    Senate Bill 222, Revamp of child care licensure.
    Passed. - The original bill de-licensed Class B centers and created two levels of licensure for what is currently Class A, including a category for publicly funded programs requiring their participation on the Network and the rating system.

    The bill went through over 100 amendments during the process. Ultimately what passed maintains licensure of Class B centers, which will now be called “Type I” and limits Class B in the future to only church and religious organizations while grandfathering in current non-church Class B centers. It creates a Level II license for current Class A centers that do not take public funding (Level II may participate in the food program), and creates a Type III license for current Class A centers that take public funds. Type III centers must meet the performance and academic standards of the Network and the new rating system.

    The bill provides for a working group to provide input on the new regulations establishing Type I, II and III licenses and it must approve the new regs. The members of that group include a representative from BrightStart, CCAL, the nonpublic school council, the Head Start Association, DCFS, LDOE, the Children’s Cabinet and the governor’s office. The bill specifies that the group “shall include participants having expertise in care of infants and toddlers, pediatric health, pediatric mental health, cognitive development and social emotional development.” It also provides that a draft of the regs will be provided to the Louisiana Partnership for Children and Families, Children’s Defense Fund, and the LAEYC for review and comment by November 1, 2013.

    Senate Concurrent Resolution 76. 
    Passed. It urges and requests DCFS and LDOE to determine the feasibility of developing an operational plan for the transfer of the Child Care Development Fund lead agency authority and associated functions (meaning perhaps to include licensing of child care centers) to the Department of Education no later than July 1, 2015, and to submit a plan to the House and Senate Committees on Education and Health and Welfare no later than 60 days before session.

    HB 1, The Budget, Amendment # 282 
    HB 1, The Budget, Amendment # 282 provides that on page 201 of the budget, between lines 35 and 36, the following verbiage be inserted: “Payable out of the State General Fund by Interagency Transfers from the Department of Children and Family Services to the District Support Program for the Early Childhood Education, Quality Improvement, and Head Start Programs. $ 9,777,865.” It is unclear at this writing if this amendment is contained in the final version of HB 1. It is also unclear whether this is supposed to be the Quality Component of the Child Care Block Grant (CCDF) because it refers to State General Funds.
  • May 09, 2013 10:48 AM | Anonymous

    Louisiana House of Representatives continues to try to fashion a plan to raise revenues to fund the budget shortfall.  The Deficit Reduction Plan being considered still includes cuts to the School Readiness Tax Credits among many others, totally $329 million in total reductions.  

    Please call your member of the House of Representatives now and URGE HIM OR HER to keep the School Readiness Tax Credits intact and oppose any efforts to reduce, repeal, or otherwise damage these credits.

    Please take these action steps TODAY:

    •1.     Call Your Representative by Calling the House Switchboard TODAY starting at 11:00 am (when the House convenes) at 225 342-6945 (talking points below). You will need to know who your Representative is - click to find out who represents you .

    •2.     AND Contact your state representatives at their local offices anytime TODAY and leave a message.  If you need the number for your district office, go to:

    •3.     AND Email your representatives TODAY  

    Talking Points below, if needed:

    • Please preserve the School Readiness Tax Credits, which are being cut in the current House Deficit Reduction Plan, and oppose any efforts to reduce, repeal, or otherwise damage these credits. 
    • The $12.5 million in School Readiness Tax Credits actually generate funding for the state because they are used to draw down over $20 million in federal funds under the Child Care and Development Fund Block Grant.
    • The School Readiness Tax Credits are an extremely effective program that benefits families, teachers, providers and small businesses.  The School Readiness Tax Credits encourage and support higher quality early childhood education in our state.

    See below for a sample email to send to your representative TODAY.
    Subject Line:  Preserve the School Readiness Tax Credits
    Dear Representative:

    Please preserve the School Readiness Tax Credits, which are cut in the House deficit reduction plan, and oppose any efforts to reduce, repeal or otherwise damage these credits. 
    The $12.5 million in Tax Credits actually generate funding for the state because they are used to draw down over $20 million in federal funds under the Child Care and Development Fund Block Grant. 
    The School Readiness Tax Credits are an extremely effective program that benefits families, teachers, providers and small businesses, and encourage and support higher quality early childhood education in our state.  Thank you for your support of the School Readiness Tax Credits. 

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