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SHREVEPORT - A Louisiana non-profit wants to make early childhood education more affordable for families.

Representatives from the Louisiana Policy Institute for Children traveled across the state this week to see first hand the quality of early education.

They made their last stop in Shreveport Friday morning at The Arc Caddo-Bossier School.

According to the latest data from the Louisiana Association of United Ways, it costs an average of $975 per month for two children. That's not affordable for a lot of families and it leaves many small children with their grandparents or day cares that do not successfully prepare them for Kindergarten.

At the Arc, legislators and local leaders toured the daycare and read to the children. They also had a round-table discussion about how that lack of affordable care affects children, especially ages up to three years old.

"This is the time of life when the very foundation of a brain is being built," said Louisiana Policy Institute for Children's executive director, Melanie Bronfin. "So like a house, if you're building it, that's happening through age three. So everything we build on top of it then, is going to be affected about whether it's weak or strong foundation."

Mayor Adrian Perkins says he's also working to make child care more affordable in Shreveport.

"It helps educational outcomes, life outcomes, you name it," Perkins said. "So, I've already been talking to Superintendent Goree on ways that we can assist and trying to find some funding for universal Pre-K and everything. So, it's extremely important in the community."

The next legislative session is in April. Officials with the Louisiana Policy Institute for Children say they hope lawmakers will push for a bill for child care assistance.

The organization says more than 3,000 children are on the waiting list to get money for early education.


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