Report | May 17, 2023

High-Quality Early Care & Education: Cost-Effective Crime Prevention for Louisiana

Child care investments today can help prevent crime tomorrow

Early care and education (ECE) has the potential to positively change the life path trajectory for children, particularly children from disadvantaged backgrounds who face compounding barriers. Early exposure to stimulating environments led by responsive and caring adults is an important predictor of later life outcomes in adulthood. Children who do not receive the support they need early in life are more susceptible to poor life outcomes later, including developmental delays, academic failure, high school dropout, delinquency, and violent behaviors.

A safe and thriving community begins with high-quality early education. Lack of ample support can result in the development of unhealthy coping mechanisms, which can lead to crime.

Joseph Lopinto, Sheriff, Jefferson Parish, LA

Given that Louisiana spends less than half of one percent of state dollars on early care and education, state policymakers are in a unique position to put the full weight of their support behind significant investments in high-quality early childhood programs. To put Louisiana on the right path, policymakers must create more CCAP slots for children ages birth to 3. To make this happen, the Early Childhood Care and Education Commission recommends: providing $115 million in state funding per year for the next 10 years, appropriating $200 million of state aid to child care access, and appropriating 10 percent of state excess funds from the previous fiscal year to the Early Childhood Education Fund.


  1. Louisiana