Quality Child Care More Important Than Ever During Pandemic
NEW ORLEANS — The Louisiana Policy Institute for Children has released results from a report titled “Struggling to Recover: The Impacts of COVID-19 on Louisiana Families with Young Children” created in partnership with Agenda for Children, Louisiana Department of Education, New Orleans Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, Urban League of Louisiana and Women United of Southeast Louisiana. The virtual press conference was moderated by Louisiana Parenting Education Network Director Lenell Young and featured first-hand perspectives from the following mothers of young children: Celeste Carter, Melissa Goudeau, Morgan Lamandre and State Rep. Stephanie Hilferty.
“There are many unknowns still ahead, but the report results emphasize the fact that the need for quality child care still exists for families and that the time to fund child care is now,” said Dr. Libbie Sonnier, executive director of LPIC. “We must work to support the child care sector through public investments to increase the availability of quality, reliable child care for working parents and maintain expanded eligibility for essential workers to the Child Care Assistance Program.”
The findings and conclusions from the statewide survey provide insights into the needs and challenges of families with young children across Louisiana as the COVID-19 pandemic endures, reinforcing the following:
- Families with young children continue to need child care to support parent employment or education, and parents must adjust schedules to fill child care gaps.
- Families are struggling to afford child care and basic necessities with child care costing the average Louisiana family of four almost $10,000 a year.
- Even in the face of reduced income, increased stress and concern about the spread of COVID-19, Louisiana working families continue to rely on child care.
- Economic challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic hit families of color and lower income families especially hard.
“Our desire is to empower all families through access to high-quality early childhood programs as we strive to prepare every child in Louisiana for success when entering kindergarten,” said Louisiana State Superintendent Dr. Cade Brumley. “Early childhood education is the greatest educational challenge of our generation, and I appreciate our many partners advancing this cause, including the Policy Institute for gathering much-needed data to drive important decisions as we move forward.”
For more information on LPIC, please visit, PolicyInstituteLA.org.