Celebrating 8 years in Early Childhood Education with the City of Natchitoches

June 2, 2022, marks the 8-year anniversary of the City of Natchitoches’ Early Childhood Education and Development program. The vision is to create a unique agency to provide direct assistance to Type III Child Care Centers during the transition to a new era of Early Childhood Education. In 2012, Act 3 called for the establishment of the Louisiana Early Childhood Care and Education Network to unify the state’s early childhood education programs. This statewide network is comprised of 65 early childhood community networks that include every publicly-funding Pre-K program, Head Starts/Early Head Starts, and Child Care Center programs within the state of Louisiana.

In 2014, the City of Natchitoches, Natchitoches Parish School Board, Northwestern State University Child & Family Network, and Chamber of Commerce recognized the need for assistance with the transition into Academic Approval requirements for our local Type III Child Care Centers, therefore the Early Childhood Education and Development was created under the leadership of Amy Metoyer-Roberson, Early Childhood Coordinator. Over the years Amy, in collaboration with the local Natchitoches Parish School board community network and individual child care centers has increased Child Care center participation from 33% to 100%; increased Performance Profile scores from 4.44 to 5.48; increase CLASS reliable observers onsite at each individual center from 10% to 90%; increase in Lead Teacher certifications within their first 2 years of employment from 4% to 68%. Growth success is based upon the hard work centers implement daily with their students, staff, and for their families to provide age-appropriate learning experiences to students of all ages.

“On behalf of the City, I would like to thank each Type III Child Care Center administrator and educator for their hard work over the past 8 years, as a whole we have shown growth in Performance Profiles scores consecutively every year. Although we originally created this program to provide assistance for only 3 years during Act 3 transitioning, we are now in year 9 due to the increase in funding and early childhood awareness promoted by the Louisiana Department of Education. We look forward to continuing to meet your needs over the years to come. ” Amy Metoyer-Roberson.

Type III Child Care Centers are privately owned and operated facilities that choose to partner with the Louisiana Department of Education and the City of Natchitoches. We only monitor academic efforts implemented into early learning classrooms of students aged Birth-5, provide administrative assistance on ensuring educational activities are present daily, and educators have an opportunity to receive higher education certifications and degrees. Additional guidance to all academic approval requirements, Department of Education requests, professional developments, local and state advocacy, resources, and technical assistance on a daily basis from the City are provided. We value efforts made at sites working hard to implement these strategies daily in the classroom and encouraging families to provide learning experiences in the home.

Our goal is to also provide high-quality education and care to EVERY child in need aged birth-5. Therefore, families are offered assistance to families in need of understanding how to choose and enroll in a Type III Child Care center. A partnership with the Natchitoches Parish School Board allows Christina Friday to be housed at the City of Natchitoches Early Childhood Education & Development office to provide additional assistance to the community in understanding what funding sources are available that can provide tuition payment assistance and assistance in submitting applications. Tuition assistance programs such as Child Care Assistance application submissions (over 1,500 applications submitted since 2017), Birth-3 Scholarship application submissions (over 150 applications submitted since 2019), Tracking of Time Systems (TOTS) finger scans, and Child Care Criminal Background Checks (CCCBC) finger imaging.

We look forward to continued efforts and growth for our centers resulting in advancement in all areas of development for our earliest learners within the community. For more information you can reach us at 318-238-7505 or at ametoyer@natchitochesla.gov