Teacher testifies before Louisiana House Appropriations Committee on benefit of state pre-k program for at-risk children
PORTLAND, Ore. – April 18, 2016 – Katrina Saverin, a KinderCare Learning Center teacher in Baton Rouge, La., will testify this week before the Louisiana House Appropriations Committee about possible budget cuts to state’s prekindergarten programs that benefit thousands of at-risk students.
Saverin will ask state legislators to continue to fund three state pre-k programs: the Nonpublic School Early Childhood Development (NSCED) Program, the Cecil J. Picard LA 4 Early Childhood Program and 8(G) Student Enhancement Block Grant Program. She will testify that the state should continue to fund these programs so that Louisiana’s most vulnerable children have the opportunity to learn in a high-quality early learning environment. Without stable funding, these children will be faced with fewer options for a strong start in life.
“The path we set children on in their earliest years can make a huge difference as they proceed through school and beyond,” said Saverin, whose KinderCare center, part of the NSCED Program, is also nationally accredited and rated four stars out of a possible five by the state’s quality rating system, Quality Start. “Children who are behind their peers when they begin school at kindergarten generally remain behind. Quality preschool experiences prepare children for long-term academic success.”
The NSCED Program gives more than 1,300 children from low-income families the opportunity to attend state-approved private preschools and child-care centers. The program provides each student with six hours of daily instruction and up to four hours of before- and after-school care, a great support for working parents.
The Cecil J. Picard LA 4 Early Childhood Program, the primary preschool program in Louisiana, provides six hours of early childhood education each day to 4-year-olds from at-risk families. The program serves more than 16,000 children and has been shown to increase students’ language and math skills by 40 percent.
Each year the 8(g) Student Enhancement Block Grant Program prepares about 3,000 at-risk preschool students for kindergarten. The program, part of the Louisiana Education Quality Support Fund administered by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, provides more than $160 million to preschool programs across the state.
Additional information about the state’s pre-k programs can be found at PreKLA.org.
About KinderCare Education®
At KinderCare Education, we believe that education creates brighter futures. We are passionate about creating a world of learning, joy, and adventure for more than 160,000 children every day. Our devoted family of education providers leads the nation in accreditation and includes KinderCare® Learning Centers, KinderCare Education at Work™, Champions® Before- and After-School Programs, Cambridge Schools™, Knowledge Beginnings® and The Grove School®. To learn more, visit us online at http://kc-education.com/.