The importance of child care in Louisiana and the upcoming election

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The Louisiana Policy Institute for Children want you to know:

  • With the election coming up, it’s critical to make your voice heard so that candidates for office at every level of government know just how important it is for them to support high-quality early care and education.
  • As a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring that Louisiana’s young children are ready for success in school and in life, I urge viewers to take the time to educate themselves on where national, state and local candidates stand on matters surrounding early care and education before they cast their ballots.
  • Young voters (Millennials and Gen Zers) make up the largest percentage of the American workforce at the same time they are most likely to be the parents of our country’s young children. They have a crucial voice in the outcome of the upcoming elections. These voters have been significantly impacted by child care issues amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and according to the Center for American Progress, “strongly support public funding to save the child care industry in any upcoming relief package passed by Congress.”
  • Young voters are not alone though; ahead of the 2020 elections, a new national poll found that 84 percent of voters across party lines say affordable child care for families with young children is an essential service—just like health care and education.
  • Parents and families are relying on high-quality early care and education for their children so they can leave home to return to work and facilitate the reopening of the economy. However, without immediate and substantial federal funding to stabilize the industry, many of these early care and education providers across the country may have to shut their doors permanently.
  • Amid the pandemic, Louisiana child care providers have been hit especially hard. The Policy Institute recently released findings on the ongoing adverse impacts the COVID-19 pandemic is having on child care providers in our state, including financial losses, closure decisions and what supports are needed to help providers respond to the public health crisis.
  • Seventy-seven percent of providers who responded to the survey reported experiencing substantial financial losses due to COVID-19 with losses averaging $110,000 per center as of June 22, translating to an estimated $137.5 million in collective losses statewide.
  • Almost half of providers, including those that were closed during the survey window, had a waiting list of families hoping to enroll their children.
  • Nearly two-thirds of providers reported difficulty in obtaining necessary supplies, including cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment.
  • Only 22 percent of providers open during the survey window, including those that had closed then reopened or remained open throughout the pandemic, responded that they could afford to continue to operate with the current smaller group sizes for as long as necessary. By contrast, 35 percent predicted their businesses could last six months or less, and another 42 percent were unsure.
  • 81 percent of providers open during the survey window were serving fewer children in June than they did in January before the pandemic. On average, enrollment at open providers was 30 percent less in June than it was in January.
  • COVID-19 has further confirmed that early care and education is the backbone of our economy, but the industry is struggling amid the pandemic and needs federal assistance immediately. We need to educate and support candidates that are ready to support working families, children and providers by immediately providing funding to stabilize the industry and who are committed increasing access to affordable high-quality early care and education.
  • We encourage you to do your research and vote for candidates who will #SaveChildCare, #FundChildCare and ensure all Louisianans have a strong start in school and in life.

About Louisiana Policy Institute for Children:

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 opportunity to reach their full potential. For more information, visit www.policyinstitutela.org and follow the Louisiana Policy Institute for Children on Facebook and Twitter.

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