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Early Care & Education Funding

Public Funding for Early Care and Education

Federal Funding

The following are current federal funding sources for early care and education in Louisiana:

  • The Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF), also known as the Child Care and Development Block Grant, funds state efforts to provide child care services for low-income family members who work, train for work, attend school, or whose children receive or need to receive protective services.
    • In FY2020, Louisiana received $147,000,754 in CCDF dollars. 
  • The Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five (PDG B-5) program is a $250 million competitive federal grant designed to improve states’ early childhood systems by building upon existing federal, state, and local early care and learning investments. 

Louisiana has won three federal competitive early childhood grants between 2014 and 2020, totaling $72.1 million, to expand access to high-quality early childhood programs and to implement state-level infrastructure and quality improvements. 

  • Louisiana will receive $11 million per year from the Renewal Preschool Development Grant B-5 between 2020-2023 to create at least 600 new seats at early learning sites for low-income children birth to age 3, improve the quality of early childhood education programming, and build the capacity of local communities to meet the needs of their youngest learners.
  • Head Start and Early Head Start are federal programs that promote school readiness for children ages birth to 5 from low-income families through comprehensive preschool programming.
    • In FY2023, Louisiana received $279,424,479 in Head Start and Early Head Start funding. 
  • Federal coronavirus relief: Between March 2020 and March 2021, states received federal COVID-19 relief money through three stimulus bills: (1) the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act; (2) the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplementary Appropriations (CRRSA) Act; and (3) the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The acts provide substantial support for states to address challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, including $50 billion specifically dedicated to child care.
    • In total, Louisiana received an estimated $1.03 billion in federal aid for early care and education from these three bills.
      • Louisiana received a total of $198.3 million from the CRRSA Act for early care and education, which must be spent by September 30, 2023. 
      • Louisiana received a total of over $772 million from ARPA, which must be spent by September 30, 2024. 

State Funding

  • Louisiana spends less than 1% of its state budget on early care and education. 
  • In 2022, the Louisiana Early Childhood Care and Education Commission released Forging a Bright Economic Future: LA B to 3, which recommends investing $115 million in new funding annually over the next decade to increase the number of children under age 4 served in early care and education programs
    • The Commission is a bipartisan commission charged with developing a vision and framework for the future of early childhood care and education in Louisiana.
    • In 2021, the Commission found that if Louisiana does not make this investment, in 10 years, our state will experience a collective $12.1 billion loss. 
    • But if we make that investment, and continue making it, we will experience a collective $1.8 billion economic gain.
  • The Louisiana Early Childhood Education Fund is a state matching fund that offers local entities in Louisiana a dollar-for-dollar match on investments made to expand access to quality early care and education for children who need it most.
    • This state fund has been growing and has several dedicated sources of revenue.  These revenue sources include:
      • Sports-betting: 25% of sports betting revenues, up to $20 million, to the Fund.
      • Pelicans specialty license plate: 50% of NBA Pelicans specialty license plate revenues will go to the Fund.
      • Land-based casinos: Up to $3.6 million will go to the Fund if the casino revenues paid to the state exceed $60 million a year ($65 million a year after August 2022).
      • Hemp-derived CBD products: Louisiana will tax industrial hemp-derived CBD products at 3%, and the revenues are dedicated to the Fund.
      • Fantasy sports betting: Louisiana will tax fantasy sports-betting at 8% and a portion of the revenues are dedicated to the fund.
    • The first distributions from this fund are expected to be distributed in 2022. 

Local Funding

  • Local entities can receive a dollar-for-dollar match on investments made to expand access to quality early care and education for children who need it most from the  Louisiana Early Childhood Education Fund. The first distributions from this fund are expected to be distributed in 2022.
    • Local entities such as municipalities and parishes can get a dollar-for-dollar match on investments made to expand access to quality early care and education for children who need it most. 
  • The Early Childhood Care and Education Commission has charged a task force to examine potential funding mechanisms for local entities to utilize in raising revenue to support early care and education in their communities.
  • Several Louisiana communities have committed to addressing early care and education at the local level.
    • East Baton Rouge School District is exploring expanding its offerings for 4-year-olds and expanding coverage of 3-year-olds by utilizing empty classrooms in district schools and partnering with local, quality-rated child care providers to staff those classrooms. The project is currently being funded with federal relief dollars, including federal dollars dedicated to developing a strategic plan to finance the expansion long-term after relief aid expires. 
    • Jefferson Parish allocated $250,000 in its parish budget to support expanded quality early care and education offerings to local residents.
    • New Orleans allocated $3 million in its city budget to create the “City Seats” program. This program provides quality early care and education to local families as well as some wrap-around services and is modeled after Early Head Start. New Orleans first dedicated city money to this program in 2017 and doubled its investment annually between 2018 and 2020.
    • Pointe Coupee Parish leveraged school readiness tax credits to encourage greater local investment in quality programs benefiting 3-year-olds. While Louisiana averages serving half of at-risk 3-year-olds statewide, Pointe Coupee Parish serves over 90% of its 3-year-olds.
    • Shreveport engaged with local business leaders and philanthropic organizations to fundraise $1 million to support expanded quality early care and education offerings to local residents.

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