State Representative Stephanie Hilferty spoke with Brian about her work in the legislative session.
What occurred with early childhood development in the legislative session?
Hilferty says that early childhood education is classified as any child 4 years old and under, which is before they enter the states k-12 system. She explains how critical it is to educate children at that age, citing that 75% of their brain develops during that period. She talks about the budget for the C-cap program and how the 20 million dollars is a good start but it is not enough. Stephanie explains that the student to teacher ratio needs to be smaller in order for children to learn properly. This program will provide education for young children who’s parent’s work a lot and cannot be there at all times. They currently have a wait list of 3,500 students.
Who is eligible for the C-cap program?
Hilferty goes into more detail about what the program is and who will be the primary beneficiary of the program. To be eligible for this program the parent must be a certain percentage below the property line and they must be enrolled in workforce training, school, or actively working at a job. This is not a daycare program, it is for parents who are working who are unable to care for their child. She then explains the importance of educating these children at a younger age so that they will not be behind when they get to grade school.
What does Louisiana still need in their budget?
Hilferty explains how the House Appropriation Committee will look at the budget to see what still needs to be done and what should be included in the budget in the future. She then gives examples of how funds are reclassified and the importance of it.