The New World of Early Learning in Louisiana

 

Community Collaborations/Mixed (Diverse) Delivery

 

Across the country, states are building and expanding early learning systems to make pre-k available to more children and to give parents more high quality choices in their local communities. 

  • Referred to as “Mixed” or “Diverse Delivery,” this national best practice refers to offering public pre-k in community settings, including private for- and non-profit child care centers, and Head Start programs, as well as on public school sites.   

  • Nationally, over 30% of all publicly funded pre-k children are in private child care settings; however, in Louisiana less than 1% of LA 4, 8g or Title I pre-k programs are offered on non-school sites. By contrast, in West Virginia, 74% of pre-k classrooms are in community-based settings including child care centers and Head Start[1];  similarly, in New Jersey, 60% of their public pre-k program is offered in community-based settings.[2]

 

A mixed/diverse delivery system has been central to building strong pre-k systems in other states. Mixed delivery systems offer the following benefits to children, families and communities:

  • Expand overall pre-k access

  • Allow parents to choose an appropriate environment for their children

  • Promote quality and accountability across settings

  • Save public funds by using existing facilities

  • Merge existing professional development and technical assistance resources;

  • Establish linkages between service providers and special education resources

  • Expand the program time to full-day and/or full-year to provide high quality early learning settings for young children with working parents

  • Avoid the serious, negative financial impact on child care of centers of losing 4 year olds, which threatens the availability and quality of early care and education for children birth through age 3

The current rapid growth in state pre-k makes such partnerships valuable and cost-efficient for all partners. Working together to develop a seamless system of coordinated programs results in success for all the programs with significant benefits for parents and their young children.

 

Additional Resources:

 

Louisiana Department of Education: Diverse Delivery in Louisiana 

 

Pre-K is path to success: New model could reduce the costs of early education, but where’s the funding?  Linked Here

 

Partnering for Preschool: A Study of Center Directors in New Jersey’s Mixed Delivery Abbott Program

Linked Here

 

Beyond the School Yard:  Pre-K Collaborations with Community Based Partners  Linked Here

 

Partners for Success: Case Studies of Collaboration Between Head Start and Pre-K Linked Here 

 

[1] West Virginia Department of Education website, Office of Early Learning, An Overview of WVA Universal Pre-K at http://static.k12.wv.us/oel/docs/WV-PreK-Overview-2013-14.pdf  retrieved on August 25, 2014. 

[2] Commonwealth, Irene Sege, New Jersey pre-K holds lessons for Mass. March 21, 2013

http://www.commonwealthmagazine.org/Voices/Perspective/2013/Winter/004-New-Jersey-preK-holds-lessons-for-Mass.aspx retrieved on August 25, 2014.