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Jun 13, 2014
Governor Jindal Signs Bill to Expand Access to Early Education Program

BATON ROUGE – Yesterday, Governor Jindal signed HB 954 by Rep. Walt Leger, which streamlines and increases flexibility within Louisiana’s early education system to allow more childcare operators to participate in the Cecil J. Picard LA 4 Early Childhood Program. This bill was included in the Governor’s 2014 Legislative Package and continues the implementation of Act 3 of 2012.
 
Currently, the Department of Education allocates funding to schools for the Cecil J. Picard LA 4 Early Childhood Program, which provides early childhood development and enrichment activity classes for Louisiana’s four year olds. This bill aligns LA4 with the accountability system of Act 3, expanding the LA4 program to ensure all types of publicly-funded providers can participate, rather than just school districts, which will allow seats to better match demand and increase early education options for Louisiana’s youngest children.
 
Governor Jindal said, “This law will help further implement the new early education standards that we passed in 2012 by expanding access to high quality early childhood programs for families across Louisiana. It will help us more effectively use the resources we already invest in early education for our children, so that we can be more efficient and better prepare them for success in school.”
 
The bills extends LA4 participation eligibility to "early learning centers,” which include any child daycare center, Early Head Start Center, Head Start Center, or stand-alone prekindergarten program not attached to a school. “Early learning centers” are the publicly funded centers that are required to participate in the Early Childhood Learning Network, which was created by Act 3.
 
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