Cheri M. Gioe, Merrill, Thomas A. | 8/30/2007 1:23:28 AM
The LSU AgCenter has extended a popular educational program for current and potential operators of child care businesses in parishes severely affected by the 2005 hurricanes.
The program, which focuses on the business operations of child care facilities is the result of a partnership between the LSU AgCenter and the Louisiana Department of Social Services.
Known as Louisiana Child Care Recovery, Entrepreneurship and Training or LACCRET, for short, the program involves an eight-week series of classes designed to provide potential or current family day care providers and child care center owners or directors with research-based information to assist in operating a quality child care program in Louisiana.
Originally offered in the spring of 2007, it is targeted to helping such facilities rebuild or rebound in Cameron, Calcasieu, Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Tammany and Washington parishes.
"Some of the people who are coming back to Louisiana to work are having problems placing their children in child care and therefore are having problems returning to work," said LSU AgCenter child care expert Cheri Gioe. "Obviously, child care plays a critical role in the infrastructure of rebuilding. That’s why we want to provide those who are in the business or those who are considering it with the best possible information."
Because of the demand, LSU AgCenter child care expert Cheri Gioe says the program is being continued for another fiscal year (2007-08) and that officials are looking for ways to expand it beyond the original eight parishes targeted for the educational materials and training.
"We have had a statewide demand for this training, so we also will be trying to find ways to offer this in other areas of the state," she said.
The series of workshops in the LACCRET program are adapted from the Kauffman Foundation’s First Step FastTrac child care business training curriculum and cover budgeting, policies and procedures, legal issues, state licensing, staffing, needs assessments, business planning and marketing.
The program is the result of a $1 million contract between the LSU AgCenter and the state Department of Social Services. It is funded by federal Social Service Block Grant funds that were awarded to Louisiana to support the rebuilding efforts of child care following the devastation of hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
The workshops are free of charge to participants – although advance registration is required. Those who complete the educational series qualify to receive a variety of other free administrative and curriculum resources valued at up to $2,500.
The series will be offered in New Orleans, Slidell, Lake Charles and Baton Rouge beginning in mid-September. If interested in more information pertaining to the LACCRET program or other potential dates and locations for the series of workshops, contact Cheri Gioe at (225) 578-3329 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Information also is available by visiting www.rebuildchildcare.org/includes/child_care_training.pdf.
The LSU AgCenter’s LACCRET Program is designed to educate child care providers about appropriate business practices. It is funded through a contract with the Louisiana Department of Social Services’ Office of Family Support.