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Lafayette Network to Pilot State Program to Increase Early Childhood Ed. Access, Improve Quality

Lafayette Early Childhood Network Awarded $100,000 to Establish Unique “Ready Start Community Network”

BATON ROUGE, La. – Lafayette Early Childhood Network received a $100,000 grant from the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to pilot new strategies to increase access to and improve the quality of publicly funded early childhood care and education. It is one of seven communities across the state selected to guide this work.

The seven communities, called Ready Start Community Networks, will spend the next two years developing new local governance structures; assessing local demand for early care and education; providing resources and training to teachers to improve classroom quality; implementing fundraising strategies; and sharing their findings with state leaders to inform future policymaking.

In Lafayette, the Early Childhood Network will do this by:

  • Expanding the Network Leadership Team to include community stakeholders to support the awareness and importance of Early Care and Education
  • Assessing the demand for affordable access to quality care and education in the parish
  • Improving quality through increased leadership professional development opportunities
“Our focus over the past couple of years has been on educating the adults in the classroom. This grant provides us with an opportunity to advance instructional leaders to the next level,” said Christine Duay, Director of Early Childhood of Lafayette Parish School System.

“By participating, the Lafayette Early Childhood Network will have the opportunity to continue increasing the awareness and raising the quality of early learning environments in Lafayette Parish. This, in turn, will promote higher outcomes for our youngest citizens,” stated Emmy Thibodeaux, Lafayette Network Coordinator.

To learn more about the Ready Start Community Networks, click here.