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Child Development and Early Learning

Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP)

The Child Care Assistance Program helps low-income families to pay for child care while working or attending school or training.  Monthly payments are based on the number of hours the parents work or attend school or training, as well as the amount charged by the child care provider, family size and household income.  Parents can select any Class A child care center, school-based before and after school program, licensed child care center determined by the Department of Defense, registered Family Child Day Care Home, or In-Home provider that is active in the CCAP provider directory.

The Quality Start Rating System is now administered by the Louisiana Department of Education.

Quality Start Logo

The quality rating system's (QRS) goal is to increase the quality of child care and early learning for all children throughout Louisiana, and to give parents and consumers the ability to understand, assess and demand higher quality.

Louisiana's Continuum of Early Learning and Development Standards

Louisiana has developed standards of early learning and development to establish what children are learning and should be doing across the early childhood years. The continuum uses terms appropriate to the different stages of development, and is aligned with the essential domains of school readiness - social/emotional development, language development, cognitive development and physical development. Each part of the continuum lays a foundation for the next step with the whole continuum depicting information about children from birth to age five.  Over time these documents will be updated and consolidated into one tool for use by educators and parents.

Early Learning and Development Standards means a set of expectations, guidelines, or developmental milestones that - (a) describe what all children from birth to kindergarten entry should know and be able to do and their disposition toward learning; (b) are appropriate for each age group (e.g., infants, toddlers, and preschoolers); for English language learners; and for children with disabilities and or developmental delays; (c) cover all essential Domains of School Readiness; and are universally designed and developmentally, culturally, and linguistically appropriate. 


Head Start Collaboration

Head Start is now administered by the Louisiana Department of Education.

The Head Start Collaboration Project seeks to facilitate and enhance coordination and collaboration between Head Start agencies and other state and local entities that provide comprehensive services designed to benefit low-income children from birth to age five, as well as pregnant women and families.

Louisiana Child Care and Development Fund Plan

The Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) is the principal source of federal funding for child care subsidies for low-income families and for initiatives to improve the quality of child care in states. Each state qualifies to receive an amount of federal funds each year and can receive additional federal funds by spending state dollars for child care subsidies and quality initiatives.