New Orleans needs to make a bigger investment in early childhood education

By the time children start school (around age 5) their brains have already gone through a tremendous amount of development.  Therefore, children who are just being introduced to a learning environment at that age have already missed some of the years when their brains are most open to receiving new information.

In recognition of the fact that giving babies access to the building blocks of education and helps them grow into more accomplished students, the city of New Orleans in 2017 allotted $750,000 to the Early Childhood Education Network. It was the first time the city had ever done so. The money was meant to create a pilot program to pay pre-school expenses for a limited number of children up to 3 years old.

A very limited number. There are 50 New Orleans children who’ve been able to participate. At 571 children, the waiting list is more than 11 times longer than the list of children who’ve actually been able to take part in the pilot program. That means that New Orleans parents are hungry for their children to get the kind of jump start on their education that experts deem crucial.  But they can’t afford to pay for it.

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