La. lawmakers approve millions in funding to help low-income families afford proper childcare
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - In the final hours of the 2023 legislative session, Louisiana lawmakers approved $44 million in new funding to early care and education.
A few parents said early childhood education has become an incredible expense for people across the state.
“We were paying like a second mortgage,” said Zipciriah Washington, a parent.
“Between our mortgage and that? We were paying over $3,000,” said Hulan Washington, another parent.
The money will go towards the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP), a state funded program that provides financial assistance to low-income families while they are working or attending school.
With childcare often representing the largest portion of a family’s budget, and childcare breakdowns costing Louisiana businesses over $760 million every year, leaders believe this will help thousands of people across the state.
“Making sure that children have access to quality early childhood education is imperative to us as a state,” said Dr. Libbie Sonnier, executive director of the Louisiana Policy Institute for Children. “What this program does is allow families to be able to have a step up so that they can get the jobs they need to go back to school so they can take care of their families.”
The state was relying on the last bit of COVID relief money to fund the project, but this new investment will save over 3500 seats in the program.
“What this program does is allow families to be able to have a step up so that they can get the jobs they need to go back to school so they can take care of their families,” said Sonnier. “This investment means more children are able to have high-quality early learning experiences in this period, setting them up for success in school and in life.”
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