Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Investing in Early Childhood: A Roadmap to Economic Success

This road map offers a comprehensive plan for improving Louisiana by making public investments in infants, toddlers, and young children. By addressing health, education, social-emotional development, parenting education and family support, the report explain recommended strategies for ensuring the optimal development and well-being of young children in Louisiana. Background information is provided for each of these five critical areas, along with the current financial burden on the State, recommended actions, cost of the recommendations, and the expected outcomes. Recommendations include: expand the Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) program which is currently serving only 15% of all eligible families; decrease preterm births which will significantly reduce Medicaid costs, reduce Louisiana's high infant mortality rate, and improve the lives of children who would otherwise have been premature; create a strong system of early education by integrating the successes of the pre-k and the child care rating system; expand the Early Childhood Supports and Services program; and improve the quality of parenting education in Louisiana by enhancing training, resources, and technical assistance for parent educators through strengthening the Louisiana Parenting Education Network. For policies to increase quality early care and education.

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