What's New

 

Policy Institute Releases New Report with Recommendations on Improving Early Care and Education Provider Quality

 

The Louisiana Policy Institute for Children has released a new report, CLASS Matters: Increasing Quality in Louisiana Early Childhood Programs.

 

Louisiana has implemented a new rating system, which provides a quality rating for every early care and education program in the state based on the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) assessment. The CLASS is an observational instrument used to assess classroom quality. It describes multiple dimensions of teaching that are linked to child development and achievement. 

 

This report offers data-informed recommendations to assist with improving early care and education provider quality and teacher practice, as measured by CLASS. The report and recommendations are based on analyses of the first two years of Louisiana CLASS data, interviews with 18 stakeholders across the state, and a review of national research around improving teacher practice, child outcomes, and CLASS scores.

 

Key findings from data analyses, interviews, and national research include:

 

  • Lowering child-teacher ratios and increasing child assessment use positively affects CLASS scores

  • Teachers with higher levels of education experienced higher CLASS scores

  • Stakeholders view the CLASS assessment positively and especially like the tool’s focus on teacher-child interactions

  • Stakeholders and national research agree – access to high-quality professional development and coaching support improved teacher practice and children’s learning

 

Based on these findings, LPIC recommends state- and local-level actions focused on supporting quality improvements and increasing access. Specific recommendations are listed below. Early drafts of the report and recommendations were shared with Louisiana Department of Education (LDE) staff, the Early Childhood Care and Education Advisory Council and the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) members, and have already supported policy and regulatory changes approved this spring and summer, including those noted below: 

 

  • Separate the Proficient rating category into two categories to distinguish differences in quality for higher-performing providers and to better differentiate supports (Included in rules passed by BESE April 2018)

  • Add infant classrooms to the rating system, ensuring adequate support, and consider increasing the infant reimbursement rate (Adding infant classrooms to the rating system was included in rules passed by BESE April 2018)

  • Provide additional targeted training and support to teachers and administrators, focusing on providers in the Approaching Proficient range, including evidence-based coaching and CLASS-specific training, and offering at times convenient for providers (Partially included in rules passed by BESE April 2018)

  • Develop a state professional development plan based on a gap analysis of current opportunities and pilot any new models or systems with a variety of provider types and across age levels

  • Increase access to low/no-cost education training programs for non-lead teachers to help address teacher talent pool shortages (LDE changed its policies to include this starting July 1, 2018)

  • Incorporate classroom environment checklist to guide teachers in classroom setup and organization

  • Fund additional grants for high-quality materials

  • Increase uniformity of CLASS observation procedures across regions, including notification, local observer, and observation windows 

  • Reduce maximum class-size ratios for child care centers (Rules passed by BESE June 2018 reduced teacher: child ratios for Type I Centers to be the same as Type II/III)

  • Analyze data from trainings and supports to determine efficacy of services

 

To read the full report click here. To read a Report Summary click here. 

 

 

Louisiana Policy Institute for Children Releases Report: CLASS Matters: Increasing Quality in Louisiana Early Childhood Programs

The Louisiana Policy Institute for Children has released a new report, CLASS Matters: Increasing Quality in Louisiana Early Childhood Programs. Louisiana has implemented a new rating system, which provides a quality rating for every early care and education program in the state based on the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) assessment. The CLASS is an observational instrument used to assess classroom quality. It describes multiple dimensions of teaching that are linked to child development and achievement. 

 

This report offers data-informed recommendations to assist with improving early care and education provider quality and teacher practice, as measured by CLASS. The report and recommendations are based on analyses of the first two years of Louisiana CLASS data, interviews with 18 stakeholders across the state, and a review of national research around improving teacher practice, child outcomes, and CLASS scores.   

 

The full report can be found here, and a one-page brief about the report can be found here.

 

Ancillary Teaching Certificate Requirement for Lead Teachers in Type III Child Care Centers


In the past, teachers in child care centers in Louisiana have not even had the requirement of a high school degree to be able to teach.  As part of the Act 3 reforms, Louisiana has instituted a requirement that by July of 2019, all lead teachers in Type III centers have to earn the Early Childhood Ancillary Certificate. More than 4,500 individuals have already earned their certificate through a qualifying credential. These certificates signal an investment in the skills and knowledge needed to support children to be ready for kindergarten and beyond.

 

This July marks another milestone towards Louisiana's goal of providing high-quality training and preparation to child care teachers in Type III centers. It is now the expectation that teachers who are completing training for a CDA (awarded by the Council for Professional Recognition) or a technical diploma attend a BESE-approved Early Childhood Ancillary Certificate Program.

 

Child care teachers in publicly-funded child care centers are able to access Louisiana Pathways Early Childhood Ancillary Certificate Scholarships to support the cost of tuition.

 

Louisiana now has 21 approved programs across the state and will continue to expand options for child care teachers throughout the year.

 

As of July 1, 2018, the following credentials and training providers can be used to earn the  Early Childhood Ancillary Certificate:

 

Qualifying Credentials:
Requirements for Completing Qualifying Credential

 

1. CDA
Training for CDA credential (120 hours) must be completed at a BESE-approved Early Childhood Ancillary Certificate Program.
*Exception: Individuals who had completed more than 36 hours of CDA training prior to July 1, 2018, may complete their training at any location or program.

 

2. Technical diploma in early childhood
Coursework must be completed at a BESE-approved Early Childhood Ancillary Certificate Program.
*Exception: Individuals who began coursework prior to July 1, 2018, may complete their course of study.

 

3. Associate's degree in early childhood
Degree must be completed at a regionally accredited college or university.

 

4. Bachelor's degree or higher
Degree must be completed at a regionally accredited college or university.
An approved program waiver is available for teachers who cannot access a BESE-approved Early Childhood Ancillary Certificate Program due to geographical availability.

 

An approved program waiver is available for teachers who cannot access a BESE-approved Early Childhood Ancillary Certificate Program due to geographical availability.

 

Louisiana Policy Institute for Children Releases Report: 

Losing Ground- How Child Care Impacts Louisiana's Workforce Productivity and the State Economy

 

The Louisiana Policy Institute for Children collaborated with LSU's Public Policy Research Lab (PPRL) and other researchers to understand the impact of child care issues on Louisiana's workforce, businesses, and the economy. 

 

LSU's PPRL conducted a statewide survey of households with children age 4 and under, asking a series of questions investigating the intersection between workforce participation and child care issues. Then, an economist estimated the economic impact of child care instability using the survey results. 

 

The first-of-its-kind study found the following:

  • Employee absences and turnover costs due to child care issues cost Louisiana employers $816 million a year;

  • Child care issues result in a $1.1 billion loss annually for Louisiana's economy; and

  • Louisiana loses almost $84 million in tax revenue annually due to lost workplace productivity.

 

More details can be found in the report here and in a one-page brief about the report here. For a copy of the press release, please click here

 

 

Louisiana Policy Institute for Children Releases Report:

Giving Credit Where It's Due-School Readiness Tax Credits Benefit Louisiana Families and Communities

A report from the Louisiana Policy Institute for Children shows the School Readiness Tax Credits stand out as a national model for effecting positive change without ballooning costs.

 

The Report concludes that these tax credits have been an effective policy lever in:

  • Supporting an industry of small businesses—child care centers—that is critical for the state’s families and local economies;

  • Supporting enhanced quality in the early care and education sector creating greater access to higher quality care for at-risk young children;

  • Incentivizing teachers of young children to strengthen their credentials;

  • Increasing awareness and use of higher quality programs;

  • Incentivizing local investment in early care and education; and

  • Improving outcomes for Louisiana’s young children

 

In addition, these credits have been used as the state match and maintenance of effort for the federal Child Care and Development Block Grant, which brings over $80 million in federal funds into Louisiana to support a host of early care and education services.

 

To view the full Report, click here.

To view the Press Release for the Report, click here.

To view an explanation of what the Louisiana School Readiness Tax Credits are, click here. 

 

Joint Statement of Support for Increased Investment in Quality Early Care and Education

 

Organizations statewide have joined together to support increased investment in high-quality early care and education in Louisiana.   

 

High-quality early care and education has a proven impact on promoting employment, reducing poverty and setting children on a path to life-long success, yet  Louisiana spends less than 1/2 of 1% of its general funds on early learning.  In fact, Louisiana has cut funding for early care and education for children under age 4 by almost 70% over the last 8 years.  

 

  • To learn more about the Joint Statement click here.

  • To see the cuts in early care and education in Louisiana click here.

  • To see the resulting gaps in access to early care and education for children in Louisiana click here.

 

ALICE Report Redefines Financial Hardship in Louisiana

Forty percent of families in Louisiana struggle to afford the basics of child care, housing, food, healthcare, and transportation according to an updated report from the Louisiana Association of United Ways. While 19 percent of Louisiana families live below the Federal Poverty Level, an additional 21 percent qualify as ALICE - Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. ALICE families hold jobs and pay taxes, but they don't earn enough to afford the day-to-day necessities. The costs of child care are one of the key challenges highlighted in the report.

When ALICE families can't make ends meet, they are forced to make choices, such as forgoing
child care, healthcare, or car insurance. This translates to reduced productivity and increased insurance premiums and taxes for everyone.


The United Way's ALICE Report offers short-, medium-, and long-term strategies for improving life for ALICE families. View the complete report with parish-level information here. For more information, view these stories on the ALICE Report from WWNO-National Public RadioThe Times-Picayune, The Advocate and The Town Talk.