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Preparing for college and careers starts even before kindergarten.

Louisiana Believes starts with the premise that all students can achieve high expectations and master rigorous academic standards. While all students can learn, not all students start school ready to succeed. Research shows that children who participate in a high quality early childhood program are more likely to enter school kindergarten ready, which has a lasting impact on their academic success.

In Louisiana, a little more than half of students entering kindergarten - 54% - are academically and developmentally ready to succeed. While Louisiana spends millions on multiple early childhood programs, including pre-kindergarten in public schools (LA4, 8(g), Title I, IDEA), the Nonpublic School Early Childhood Development Program, Child Care Assistance Program, Head Start, Early Head Start and EarlySteps, a fragmented system is allowing our youngest learners to slip through the cracks.

That is why Louisiana is developing a unified Early Childhood System of Local Networks, as directed by Act 3 of the 2012 Regular Legislative Session. When fully implemented in 2015-2016, the networks will expand access to high quality, publicly-funded early childhood programs to families across Louisiana to ensure more children enter school kindergarten ready.

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