The LSU Early Childhood Education Institute is an umbrella organization to promote research and dissemination of recommended practices in early childhood care and education. The Early Childhood Education Institute (ECEI) is the research, education and outreach initiative within the College of Human Sciences & Education.
The ECEI recognizes the economic impact of Louisiana’s early childhood programs.
- A recent study found that there is a 13 percent return on investment for high quality, birth-through-4 early education (Davis, Bustamante, Bronfin, & Candal Rahim, 2017) and narrows the achievement gap, increasing cognitive development by 0.35 standard deviations on average (Duncan & Magnuson, 2013).
- Continuance of high-quality early education is dependent upon ongoing research that investigates promising approaches that lead to sustained growth in cognitive development and school readiness.
- The returns to society outweigh the initial costs of the program, with researchers estimating the gain in income from children in state-supported programs over a child’s career to be “$9,166 to $30,851, after taking out the cost of the program” (Economics of Early Childhood Investments, 2014).
There is recognition that early childhood programs benefit children, parents, and society. In Louisiana, business lobbies are supporting early childhood education by lobbying for Act 3 (Boone, 2017; Karlin, 2017). From these initiatives, it is evident that “...one of the most efficient means to boost the productivity of the work force in 15 to 20 years is to invest in today’s youngest children.” (Grunewald, 2012, p. 1).
The B-K (Birth through Kindergarten) Teacher Certification structure is now available at LSU, establishing a degreed certification structure for those working in childcare. Shortly, a new generation of undergraduate teachers will be entering the workforce needing experienced, degreed and certified mentor teachers in B-K. The ECEI is positioned to assist in this effort through research, education, and outreach.
In collaboration with both the LSU Early Childhood Education academic programs and the LSU Early Childhood Education Laboratory Preschool, the ECEI promotes recommended practices through discovery, curricula, programs, and strategic partnerships to provide an evidence-based focus on developing recommended practices in early childhood care and education for Louisiana and the nation. The ECEI links LSU’s expertise in early childhood education with the critical need for a highly educated early childhood workforce of researchers and advocates to advance the profession of early care and education.
To provide an evidence-based focus on developing recommended practices in early childhood care and education for Louisiana and the nation by promoting discovery, curricula, programs, and strategic partnerships, including funding support.
Dissemination of Recommended Practice
To enable the early childhood workforce to implement recommended practices for caring and educating young children.
To speak up on behalf of young children, their families and those working in the field of early care and education, for effective social policies that support the early years.