What is the Jefferson Early Childhood Collaborative?
The Jefferson Early Childhood Collaborative is a partnership of early care and education programs that support young children from birth through four years of age and their families. The goal of the Jefferson Collaborative is to make high quality early care and education available to all children in Jefferson Parish to ensure that all children enter kindergarten healthy and ready for success. The Jefferson Collaborative also works to help families make the best choices for their child's early care and education and to be involved in supporting their child's early development and learning.
Early Care and Education Act
In 2012, the Louisiana Legislature passed Act 3, the Early Care and Education Act. Act 3 requires the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) to create a unified system to manage all publicly funded early childhood programs. To begin this process, the Louisiana Department of Education selected communities around the state to become Early Childhood Network Pilots. The Jefferson Collaborative became an Early Childhood Network Pilot in the spring of 2014.
All publicly funded early childhood programs must comply with the requirements of Act 3. Publicly funded programs include those programs that receive any of the following funding sources:
- Cecil Picard LA 4 Program Funds
- Louisiana 8g Funds
- Federal Title I Funds
- Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Funds (Early Steps and Special Education)
- Child Care Assistance Program Funds (CCAP)
- Head Start Funds
- Early Head Start Funds
- Nonpublic School Early Childhood Development Program (NSECD) Funds
Early care and education programs that received only Food Program funds are not required to meet the mandates of Act 3.
Coordinating Partner for the Jefferson Collaborative
Jefferson Parish School (JPS) serves as the coordinating partner for the Jefferson Parish Early Childhood Collaborative. As the coordinating partner, the JPS serves as the fiscal agent for the Collaborative, coordinates planning meetings of the participating partners, facilitates training and coaching for teachers and administrators in the partnership, and ensures that all State requirements for Community Networks are met.