A state commission proposes spending an additional 86-million dollars on early childhood education. The funding plan, called LA B to 3, aims to provide assistance to a total of 114,000 children three and under. Franklinton Senator Beth Mizell says it’s a crucial first step.

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“Children are in need with working parents or parents that are in college to be provided with an opportunity to have an early childhood experience, and we all benefit from that.”

The commission was created during the last legislative regular session.

Much of Louisiana’s early childhood education funding comes from the feds, but Mizell says this time the large increase in funds necessary to get this program going will have to come locally.

“Since the state is going to be the primary beneficiary of well educated, and well adjust children, we’re hoping the state will step up and provide an example.”

The commission reports less than a third of three-year-olds can access quality childcare in Louisiana.

The report notes every one dollar invested in early education yields $7.30 in return, and the expansion can pay for itself unlike other programs.

“There’s opportunities where we are going to be able to measure the savings against what we can benefit from with the initial investment, and I hope that swings people to be able to make the initial investment.”

173,000 children three and under are in need of early childhood education.