Frequently asked questions:

Q: What is OPENetwork?

A: OPENetwork stands for Ouachita Parish Early Childhood Network. OPENetwork’s goal is to make high quality early care and education available to all children in Ouachita Parish and that all children will enter kindergarten healthy and ready for success. OPENetwork also works to help families make the best choices for their child’s early care and education and to be involved in supporting their child’s early development.

Program Partners in the OPENetwork include:
• The following Type 3 licensed child care centers-The Cubhouse Early Learning Center, Child’s Play II, C.H.I.L.D.S. Childcare, Claiborne Christian, College Prep, DREAM Academy, Excellent, Faith Brighter Beginning Day Care, The Assembly Kidz Care, Home Away From Home Day Care, Kiddie Garden Day Care, Kids World, Louisiana Delta Community College Children’s Center, Little Angels Learning Academy, Little Flower Academy, Little Shining Stars Development Academy, Living Way Infant, Child Development Center, Majestic Youth Development, McGuire UMC Child Development Center, Mini Scholars,  New Vision Learning Academy, Open Arms, Radiance West CDC, Playhowse Learning Center, Radiance,  Small World, Stepping Stones, Wonderland, and University of Louisiana Monroe Child Development Center;
• Monroe City School System and Ouachita Parish School System;
• Claiborne Christian and Our Lady of Fatima (NSECD sites);
• Children’s Coalition Early Head Start;
• Head Start;
• EarlySteps

The coordinating partner for the OPENetwork is the Children’s Coalition for Northeast Louisiana. Child Care Connections, the Child Care Resource and Referral Agency for Northeast Louisiana, is a program of the Children’s Coalition.

Q: How do I apply for an early childhood program?

A: Applications are different for different programs. See the information in Step 3: How Do I Apply on the home page to see what you need to do to apply for your program of choice.

Q: What do I need to bring with me to apply for an early childhood program?

A: Different documents are required for different programs. See the information in Step 3: How Do I Apply on the home page to see what you need to bring with you to apply.

Q: When do I apply for an early childhood program?

A: Some programs accept applications any time. The Coordinated Enrollment Period is March 5-9, 2018

Programs that accept applications anytime:
• Child Care Centers
• EarlySteps
• Early Head Start

There is a Coordinated Application period of March 5-9, 2018 for the following programs:
• Claiborne Christian NSECD Program
• Monroe City School System Pre-K Programs
• Head Start
• Ouachita Parish School System Pre-K Programs
• Our Lady of Fatima NSECD Program

A Coordinated Application Period means this is NOT “first come, first served,” but all completed applications of eligible children taken during March 5-9, 2018 will be considered.

Q: Where do I apply for an early childhood program?

A: Apply at the program site. For a complete list of sites and site addresses, use the Early Childhood Programs tab.

Q: How long will it take before I know if my child has been accepted?

A: The public school Pre-K Programs and NSECD Programs will selected  a specific date about a month later as the Coordinated Notification date. Child care centers, Early Head Start, EarlySteps and Head Start will notify you as soon as possible after processing your application.

Q: What happens if I miss the Coordinated Application period?

A: If you miss the Coordinated Application period, you will be placed on a waiting list and notified if a spot becomes available.

Q: If I qualify, is my child guaranteed a spot?

A: No, eligibility doesn’t guarantee enrollment. In order to provide a safe and developmentally appropriate environment, all programs have only a certain number of children they can serve.

Q: What happens if I don’t qualify?

A: If you don’t qualify for a publicly-funded program, paying tuition at a quality rated child care center is an option. The right care and education for your child in these critical years is worth considering. Remember, your choices shape their chances and quality should always be your choice.

Q: How do I figure out my monthly income?


Monthly Income Calculation Table: How to Translate Income into a Monthly Figure

                                   Pay Period                                                        Formula


(Hourly wage x 40 Hrs. per week) x 4.33

Monthly, same gross pay each month

Use gross salary

Paid exactly 2 times per month
(example: 1st & 15th of the month)

Gross Salary x 2

Paid same gross amount every 2 weeks

(Gross salary divided by 2) x 4.33


Gross salary x 4.33


Family size

Gross Annual Income*

Gross monthly income*




















Q: What is a Child Care Resource and Referral Agency?

A: Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies assist families with finding and evaluating child care, train child care providers and help develop new child care facilities. The Child Care Resource and Referral Agency for Northeast Louisiana is Child Care Connections, a program of the Children’s Coalition for Northeast Louisiana.

Child Care Connections
117 Hall Street
Monroe, LA 71201
(318) 323-4522
(877) 206-0819

Q: What is Quality Start?

A: As parents, you want the very best for your children. That’s what Quality Start is all about. When you choose a Quality Start member child care center, you know you are choosing a center that is among the finest in the state. Quality Start is a voluntary program for licensed child care centers, designed to recognize, support, and increase the quality of child care throughout Louisiana. Participating centers can earn up to five stars. Quality Start also offers training and incentives to child care providers to help increase their rating. Important new quarterly bonuses and tax credits are also available to parents who choose a Quality Start center.

Q: Why should I choose a Quality Start Child Care Center?

A: Research shows quality child care can improve your child’s well-being including their readiness for school.

     1. Child care centers who participate are showing parents their commitment to providing quality child care.
     2. On your tax return, your family may qualify for the annual School Readiness Tax Credit based on the star rating of your child care center, your family income and your child’s age.

Q: Where can I get more information about Quality Start?

  • Contact your Child Care Resource and Referral Agency, Child Care Connections, at 318.323.4522 or 1.877.206.0819, childrenscoalition.org
  • Contact the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services – Child Development and Early Learning Section at 225.342.0694 or 1.800.680.9098.
  • http://www.qrslouisiana.org/

Q: Who do I call if I think my child has missed a Developmental Milestone?

A: If your child is an infant to 3 years old (36 months), call EarlySteps for help. If your child is 3 to 5 years old, call the public school system for help. Early intervention is very important and gives your child the best chance to overcome a delay.