NATCHITOCHES EARLY LEARNING CENTERS TO RECEIVE $20,000 IN GRANTS

Grant will fund background checks, professional development, and CLASS-reliable training

Natchitoches, LA, February 22, 2018– The ten Type III centers in Natchitoches will receive full funding to implement new state requirements for background checks, to provide professional development for classroom curricula, and to offer CLASS-reliable training to all administrators.  These funds were donated to the NSU Child and Family Network (NSU CFN), the resource and referral agency for Natchitoches Parish, via the School Readiness Tax Credit (SRTC); funds were raised through the NCA as the community liaison for the NSU CFN.  The programs will be coordinated through the City of Natchitoches Early Childhood Education and Development (ECED) program, led by Amy Metoyer.

“I want to thank each business that uses the state’s tax credit; the opportunity to help these centers to provide safer environments, with increased professional development for teachers, and 

even more [CLASS-reliable] trained teachers, is extraordinary–and this shows the power of an important public/private partnership we have in Natchitoches.” – Tony Davis, Executive Director, NCA

The centers will receive full funding to ensure that all personnel in contact with children have an extensive background check, which will include Louisiana and Federal criminal records, several registry checks and a state checks for any residences in the past five years; all are new requirements from the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, or BESE.  Teachers will be able to participate in extensive professional development for the Tier I curricula these centers utilize.  Since teachers are evaluated on their use of the curriculum and their interactions with students (the CLASS observation), this funding will help to ensure that more administrators have an in-depth understanding of what is expected in each classroom of their facility.

The total costs to provide background checks for more than 80 staff, to offer professional development for the ten centers and more than 50 teachers for curriculum, and to ensure CLASS-reliable training for these centers, is anticipated to be between $19,500 and $20,000.  These funds will help to ensure that children in early learning centers in Natchitoches Parish are taught in safe environments, with quality curricula, by teachers that understand how to best encourage the growth of each child through proper training.

This support is in addition to over $36,000 in benefits that the 10 centers have received from NSU CFN in the last year for Child Development Associate (CDA) credential training and coaching, curriculum purchases, and educational materials to support the curriculum.  These funds were also from SRTC donations from local businesses, making Natchitoches Parish a leader in the state in assistance to early learning centers. If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Tony Davis at 318.352.7281 or email at [email protected]

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The mission of the NCA is to provide leadership and support for economic development and workforce solutions in and around Natchitoches parish; learn more at NCA-La.com.