Why Early Learning Matters In Louisiana
Investing in quality child care and early learning settings is the best foundation for building human capital in Louisiana.
The forces of globalization and technology continue to redefine the knowledge economy: tomorrow’s workers must rely more on brain than brawn. Federal, state, and local budgets will improve significantly when governments can dedicate more of their resources to productive endeavors, rather than to remediation, incarceration, and welfare.
The collateral impact of living in poverty, not starting school ready to learn, potentially not having enough to eat or not eating nutritiously, affects a child’s development and ability to succeed in school. From an economic standpoint, the repercussions are felt throughout society – for example, in terms of lost earnings and tax revenue, increased health care costs, and a population unfit for employment and productive work.
The strength of Louisiana’s economy is related to school readiness and workforce readiness. It is time to invest in quality child care and early learning settings.
Major Economic Benefits of Louisiana’s Early Childhood Industry
The long-term economic gains from investing in our future generations of workers are complemented by the short-term benefits of our commitment to early childhood care and education programs. Most early childhood education programs in Louisiana are privately run small businesses. These small businesses not only provide a vital service, they also create jobs and pump money into local economies.
According to the Committee for Economic Development:
Throughout Louisiana, there are 10,381 child care programs with revenue of $465.9 million.
The child care industry employs 21,817 individuals, supporting an additional 6,500 jobs in other industry sectors across Louisiana.
Child care industry revenue in the state combined with spillover effects (additional spending) have a nearly $830 million impact on the economy.
Committee for Economic Development. Child Care in State Economies (August 2015)
Committee for Economic Development. “Unfinished Business: Continued Investment in Child Care and Early Education is Critical to Business and America’s Future.” (2012).
Committee for Economic Development. “The Economic Promise of Investing in High-Quality Preschool: Using Early Education to Improve Economic Growth and the Fiscal Sustainability of States and the Nation.” (2006).
Marshall, N.L., Robeson, W.W., Roberts, J.R. & Dennehy, J. “Child Care for Low‐Income Families. Wellesley Centers for Women”. (2013)