NEW ORLEANS - Today, Council President Helena Moreno announced the beginning of the process to ask voters to approve a permanent revenue stream for Early Childhood Education in New Orleans. The notice of intent filed this week would place a 5mill measure on the April 2022 ballot for consideration by the City's voters.
"For years, this Council has fought for funding for Early Childhood Education because we know that this essential building block is out of reach for too many of our City's children," said Council President Moreno. "Studies conclusively show that Early Childhood education sets children on the path to greater academic and social success. We want to eliminate the financial barriers to Early Childhood Education, and this millage is a strong step in that direction."
Advocates and leaders throughout New Orleans also voiced their support:
- "There is an urgent need to increase public funding for high-quality, affordable early care and education in New Orleans as it’s the single most expensive household budget item in a city where more than 50% of families don’t earn enough to survive. United Way is grateful for Councilmember Moreno’s support of expanding ECE access so that all children and families have an opportunity to succeed in school and life." – Michael Williamson, United Way of Southeast Louisiana (UWSELA) president and CEO
- "Greater investment in early care and education can change generations by providing high-quality early learning for our youngest and most vulnerable learners and helping support living wages for our teachers so they can work their way out of poverty. This is how we stabilize our economy and get parents back to work." – Rochelle Wilcox, Founder & CEO, Wilcox Academy of Early Learning and Co-Founder of For Providers by Providers
- "We appreciate the City's partnership as we work to create more opportunities for families with young children and ensure our children have the early learning foundation they need to succeed." – Jen Roberts, Chief Executive Officer, Agenda for Children
- "Over the past few years, the City Council and Mayor have made important investments in early care and education, but we have so much more to do. Dedicated funding for early care and education is key to our economic competitiveness. Our workforce depends on it." – Bill Hammack, Partner, Link Restaurant Group
More than 6,500 children, birth to age three, in New Orleans do not have access to early care and education their families can afford. Young children who participate in high-quality early care and education (ECE) programs are 4x more likely to graduate high school and become productive citizens than peers who do not. Having reliable and quality early care and education for their children plays a significant role in parents’ ability to work, pursue job training, and/or go to school.
This week's notice of intent on the Council's regular agenda sets the stage for an April 2022 vote on the proposed ECE millage. The notice of intent is co-authored by all seven Councilmembers.
Watch this week's meeting live at council.nola.gov, visit chambers to give public comment, or submit online public comment up until two hours before the meeting here.