Gov. Jindal announces plan to reform early childhood education

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

Gov. Bobby Jindal announced his plan to implement early childhood education reforms, which he will pursue during the upcoming legislative session. The package of legislation will reduce red tape within the current early childhood system and make it easier to navigate for parents and providers, allowing more of Louisiana's children to be better prepared for success in school.

The plan implements Act 3 of the 2012 Legislative session, which calls for a definition of Kindergarten readiness, performance targets aligned to the state's K-12 standards, and a uniform assessment and accountability system for publicly funded programs, including letter grades to provide clear actionable information for parents. The law also requires coordination between the Department of Children and Family Services, the Department of Health and Hospitals and the Louisiana Department of Education to streamline and align with the new system licensing standards for child day care centers, as well as a revamp of the current tiered rating system and associated School Readiness Tax Credits to be aligned with the new system. Act 3 requires that this new system be created by July 1, 2013 and implemented by 2015-16.

Gov.Jindal said, "This plan will implement the new early education standards that we passed last session by expanding access to high quality early childhood programs for families across Louisiana. It will also provide the information parents need to choose the program that will best prepare their children for success in school.