Group Releases Report on Early Childhood Education in Jefferson Parish

Elementary School Kids Arrive At School From The School Bus
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METAIRIE – In partnership with Start Early, Jefferson Ready Start Network has released results from a study of Jefferson Parish early care and education that makes the case for an increased supply of high-quality, accessible and affordable early learning services, particularly for infants and toddlers.

“Access to early education is essential for the success of our children and our community at large,” said Sarintha Stricklin, Ph.D., executive director of JRSN. “We were excited to work with Start Early on this research to spark conversation and guide our planning to increase successful outcomes in Jefferson Parish.”

The purpose of the analysis was to inform strategy, guide planning and drive implementation to increase equitable access to high-quality early learning services. The project included collection and analysis of existing public data regarding availability, quality and accessibility of services. Start Early conducted additional research through focus groups, surveys and interviews with key economic partners and families, including a concentration on the underrepresented Latino community.

The report findings conclude there is a need for increased supply of high-quality, accessible and affordable early learning services, particularly for infants and toddlers. The biggest barriers for early childhood education include cost, child care supply and language, among others.

With this in-depth understanding of the state of early care and education in the parish, JRSN will continue its work with key stakeholders aimed at targeting the following specific goals:

  •   Expand access by increasing subsidies and subsidy participation
  •   Explore opportunities to increase infant and toddler seats
  •   Develop a community-targeted approach to supply
  •   Conduct targeted quality study and implement improvements
  •   Build a diverse, supported and sustainable workforce
  •   Expand access by reducing language barriers
  •   Develop an outreach and marketing plan for target families

“As we look to the future, we are confident that these ideas will improve opportunities for young children, their families and our community. We will continue to work to build a more equitable and accessible early learning ecosystem for the children and families it serves. This analysis serves as the next step in that endeavor,” said  Stricklin.

The complete Jefferson Parish Early Learning: Capacity and Access Landscape Analysis can be downloaded here.

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