71 percent of early education programs in the state were rated proficient, up five percent from last year according to the Louisiana Department of Education.

Policy Institute for Children Executive Director Melanie Bronfin says its solid progress for programs vital to student’s pre-kindergarten educational preparation.

“Head Start programs, Childcare Programs, and pre-k programs all showed improvement over all in their ratings.”

Six percent of programs were rated excellent, up from 3 percent last year.

But 23 percent of child care providers did not make the cut this year, and Bronfin says even though it’s an 8 point improvement, that’s still not good enough. Bronfin says the state shouldn’t have any non-proficient providers, something that can only be accomplished with better funding.

“Those tenders can only provide service based on what those parents can afford to pay, and parents cannot afford to pay the cost of quality care.”

Bronfin says the state is seriously lacking in support for working class families early childcare needs. Their numbers show that two thirds of kids come from single parent households, or households where both parents work, but few of those families qualify for childcare financial assistance.

“Only seven percent of our children can access any public funding at all for a slot.”

School programs showed the highest levels of proficiency followed by Early and Head Start programs, and then Child Care.

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