Report | April 5, 2022

High-Quality Early Care & Education is Crime Prevention

Early childhood programs set children on the path to success in Louisiana

About 60 percent of Louisiana children do not meet school readiness benchmarks at kindergarten entry. Many of these children may never catch up—underperforming in third-grade reading and math, more likely to be held back in school, and less likely to graduate from high school on time. Some may even end up involved in crime.

I would rather prevent crime from happening in the first place. We can do that by ensuring our youngest Louisianans have access to high-quality early learning programs.

Greg Champagne, Sheriff, St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office

High-quality early childhood care and education (ECE) programs can help reduce these risks by working with parents to give children a good start in life. Research shows that high-quality ECE can increase the likelihood that children succeed in school and steer clear of crime. Yet, publicly funded ECE programs currently reach only 29 percent of in-need children under the age of 5 in Louisiana. Unmet need is concentrated among children ages birth to 3, with only 15 percent served.

Research has proven over and over again that high-quality early learning steers kids on the path to successful lives and away from crime.


The Louisiana Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) provides financial assistance to parents with low incomes that allows them to access high-quality child care while they are working, attending school, or looking for work. Louisiana policymakers must create more CCAP slots for children ages birth to 3, by providing $115 million in state funding per year for the next ten years, as recommended by the Early Childhood Care and Education Commission created by the legislature. When we invest in early learning programs, we put our children—and our state—on a path toward greater safety and prosperity.


  1. Louisiana