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Louisiana Policy Institute for Children Releases EarlySteps Report

Louisiana Policy Institute for Children Releases EarlySteps Report

NEW ORLEANS (October 18, 2022) — The Louisiana Policy Institute for Children (LPIC) in partnership with BUILD Initiative is pleased to announce the release of “Promoting Early Intervention in Louisiana: Recommendations for Increasing Enrollment” in EarlySteps. EarlySteps is Louisiana’s statewide program that provides Early Intervention services to support infants and toddlers, birth to age 3, with developmental delays and disabilities and their families.

The Louisiana Early Steps program is enrolling fewer young children in the program than could benefit from it. Louisiana is currently 31st in the country in enrollment of children in Early Intervention age birth to three and 20th in the nation in enrollment of children from birth to age one. This data underscores the importance and urgency of improving program enrollment.

Drawing upon data, best practices, and engagement of EarlySteps families and partners, this report provides seven areas of concrete, practical recommendations to help improve enrollment in this vital program.

This report was created with support from the Pritzker Children’s Initiative and the Louisiana Department of Health’s Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities which runs the program.

“The Louisiana Policy Institute for Children is extremely grateful to have collaborated on the report, Promoting Early Intervention in Louisiana: Recommendations for Increasing Enrollment in EarlySteps. We remain strong in our commitment to providing the essential data and research to the state’s policymakers and stakeholders for informed decisions and policy-making in order to ensure a successful Louisiana starts with successful children. Our partnership with The BUILD Initiative and the Louisiana Department of Health’s Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities will allow us to focus on infants and toddlers in our state with developmental disabilities to take the necessary steps to increase enrollment and awareness of the critical services the EarlySteps program provides,” said Libbie Sonnier, Executive Director of the Louisiana Policy Institute for Children.

Louisiana is working to strengthen its prenatal-to-three system. As part of this work and with the support from the Pritzker Children’s Initiative, the Louisiana Policy Institute leads a public-private coalition to strengthen service quality and accessibility in early care and education, health, and well-being. Drawing upon data, best practices, and engagement of EarlySteps families and partners, this report provides concrete, practical recommendations to help improve enrollment in this vital program.

“Build and its PN-3 Capacity Building Hub is honored to have been able to support the Louisiana Policy Institute for Children and the Louisiana Department of Health’s examination of EarlySteps to identify possible strategies to bolster participation rates benefiting larger numbers of infants and toddlers with disabilities,” said Susan Hubbard, executive director of The BUILD Initiative.

“The Louisiana Department of Health thanks the Louisiana Policy Institute for Children, Pritzker Children’s Initiative, and the Build Initiative for the opportunity to participate in this project to review the outreach and referral process for the EarlySteps program. We all want this vital program to be as successful and accessible as possible. LDH’s FY22 business plan includes goals for improved developmental screening and increased referrals to EarlySteps. We worked closely with partners on the research into national best practices and have developed an implementation plan to address recommendations to improve our processes so that all children who are eligible are able to take advantage of EarlySteps,” said Julie Foster, Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities Assistant Secretary.

To view the report, please visit EarlySteps Louisiana and for more information on LPIC, please visit: www.policyinstitutela.org or follow us on social media @PolicyInstLA.

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About LPIC

Louisiana Policy Institute for Children is a 501(c)(3) nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring that Louisiana’s young children, from birth to age four, are best prepared for success in school and in life. The Policy Institute develops policy proposals informed by data, research, best practices, and the experiences of other states to improve the outcomes of Louisiana’s youngest citizens, and further provides educational and outreach activities based on recommended policy solutions. The organization works to ensure children are safe, healthy and have the opportunity to reach their full potential. For more information, visit www.policyinstitutela.org and follow the Louisiana Policy Institute for Children on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 

About the Prenatal-to-Three Capacity-Building Hub, powered by the BUILD Initiative

The BUILD Initiative is a national organization that advances work on behalf of young children from prenatal to five, their families, and communities. The BUILD Initiative partners with leaders to promote equitable, high-quality child- and family-serving systems that result in young children thriving and learning. BUILD envisions a time when all children reach their full potential and when race, place, and income are no longer predictors of outcomes. The Capacity-Building Hub, funded by the Pritzker Children’s Initiative (PCI), and powered by the BUILD Initiative, supports pregnant and parenting families, infants, and toddlers by working with state and community leaders and coalitions committed to advancing policies and programs that provide for this strong start in life. 

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