top of page

Louisiana Policy Institute for Children Releases Results of Annual Child Care Parent Poll

NEW ORLEANS — From the Louisiana Policy Institute for Children:

On Feb. 21, LPIC hosted a press conference releasing the results from the “2023 Louisiana Child Care Parent Poll,” which surveyed Louisiana parents with children under age 5 to better understand these families’ child care arrangements, particularly in regard to their child care needs and experiences. LPIC conducted the survey in partnership with Agenda for Children,  Louisiana Department of Education, and United Way of Southeast Louisiana’s (UWSELA) Women United. The press conference was moderated by Charmaine Caccioppi, and included four parent panelists from Caddo, Natchitoches, and St. Landry Parish.

This year’s survey results provide insights into the continued needs and challenges of families with young children in Louisiana.

  • Year-over-year, Louisiana parents with young children depend on child care while they work or go to school.

  • Child care continues to be unaffordable for those who need it most.

  • Finding available, reliable childcare remains a challenge for many working families.

“Understanding the challenges facing Louisiana families is crucial as we approach the 2024 legislative session,” says Dr. Libbie Sonnier, executive director of the Louisiana Policy Institute for Children. “Last year, the state made a tremendous investment in families by allocating $52 million to early care and education. However, we know based on the work done by the 2022 Early Care and Education Commission that it will take an additional investment of $115 million for the next eight years to serve our approximately 100,000 in-need infants and toddlers.”

High-quality early care and education benefits everyone in Louisiana. Louisiana policymakers should invest public dollars in the most strategic way possible by ensuring families and young children have what they need to thrive now and in the long-term. The research is clear that investing in early care and education allows caregivers to go to work and contribute to the economy, supports businesses seeking a reliable workforce, ensures kindergarten readiness, prepares children for long-term economic success, and even prevents the likelihood of future criminal activity. To ensure all these benefits now and in the future, Louisiana should: 

  • Continue to increase state investments in early care and education to expand access to high-quality care, especially for children birth through age 3, supporting our youngest learners, their working parents, and employers across the state.

  • Support local governments generating revenue for early care and education through continued state investment in the Louisiana Early Childhood Education Fund.

  • Help families more easily learn about, find, and connect with high-quality child care providers in their communities.

With the expiration of federal funds and the state’s revenue projections beginning to level off, trends suggest that the robust investments the child care sector requires, that voters support, and that families need, may be postponed. This leads to a dimmer outlook for Louisiana’s families moving forward, with not all Louisiana families able to access, or afford, the high-quality child care they need.

As one parent from St. Tammany Parish who completed the survey responded, “[Child care is] so expensive. We’re deciding not to have another child because we can’t afford child care and groceries. I always dreamed of more children, but I can’t justify it.”

“Women United understands the importance of using the best data to show where hardships exist and what structural changes are necessary to increase stability among asset limited, income constrained, but employed households, or what we call the ‘ALICE’ population,” says Charmaine Caccioppi, Women United Rep. “The Parent Poll confirmed once again that our state is in crisis. If we don’t take immediate action to increase child care funding in Louisiana, our most vulnerable children and families will miss out on high-quality care, creating short- and long-term consequences for us all.”

More than half of parents surveyed were concerned about being unable to afford child care.

  • Almost 60% of parents were concerned about being unable to afford child care – an increase from the survey findings a year ago. Parents with family incomes between $20,000 and $75,000 per year were more likely to be concerned about their inability to afford child care.

  • Nearly 60% of parents indicated having trouble paying for basic household expenses, including utilities, food, child care, and clothing, in the prior six months. Parents with family incomes below $50,000 per year were more likely to have had trouble paying for basic household expenses.

The complete findings from “Just Out of Reach: Louisiana Working Families’ Continued Struggle to Access & Afford Child Care” can be found here. The survey was conducted from October 18, 2023, to November 1, 2023. Questions ranged from asking about child care arrangements in the past several months, ease of finding child care, personal child care expenses, family work schedules, and more. Responses were sought from all parents of young children in Louisiana, including parents who provide care or rely on extended family, friends, and neighbors for care, as well as families who rely on formal child care programs and settings, including preschool and Head Start. This year’s survey was available in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese. For more information on LPIC, please visit


bottom of page