Law enforcement, educational leaders asking lawmakers to put more money towards early childhood education

Law enforcement, educational leaders want more money towards early childhood education
Published: Apr. 5, 2022 at 6:01 PM CDT

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Leaders are hoping that if they invest more in education, as young as possible, it may make a difference in the future when it comes to combating crime.

Treasures from Heaven Child Care and Learning Center is located in north Baton Rouge. The center cares for kids from infants all the way to three-year-olds.

“The majority of my parents, I would say probably 60% parents pay out of pocket. The other 40% qualify for the child care assistance program,” explained Sherrel Pointer, who is the owner and director of Treasures from Heaven.

The Louisiana Child Care Assistance Program helps low income families providing them with services to take advantage of early child care or education like Treasures from Heaven. However, in order to keep places like this running, advocates say they need more money. It’s something they hope lawmakers will invest in.

“Most of those children are left at home with older siblings, aunts or uncles, grandmother. So, they are not being educated, they are in front of the tv, they are learning the language of older people that are keeping them,” added Pointer.

District Attorney Hillar Moore says investing in those kids early could have a direct impact in keeping them off the street and out of trouble.

“When you look at those young people, these juveniles, look at their educational history. They are either truant, dropped out of school, none of them have a GED, very bad childhood care as a child. So, that’s why this is just so important to us and law enforcement,” explained Moore.

The DA believes getting those kids in some type of child care or early education program will help them be ready for kindergarten, stay in school, and essentially stop crime before it happens.

Rep. Ken Brass, who sits on the Education Committee, has a bill that is meant to make it easier for local governments to create taxes for early childhood programs. It was approved by the House Monday, April 4, and now it moves onto Senate.

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