I believe OPENetwork is a great opportunity to ensure that every child, infant through K4, gets the start that they deserve.
We are excited about the opportunity to increase capacity in our early childhood programs so that more infant to pre-school aged children will enter school ready to succeed. The Ouachita Parish partners are all committed to continuing to build trusting relationships, combining resources, and thinking innovatively about how best to support our youngest children and their families.
When children enter kindergarten ready to learn, it is life changing. Evidence shows that high quality early childhood education stands the test of time, but unfortunately our state historically has not offered that level of quality to all children. These community networks are an important step towards making sure that no child falls through the cracks because of a disconnected system and empowers those closest to our youngest learners to make decisions on their behalf.
This past year, as a representative for Ouachita Parish Schools, I have been part of the Community Early Childhood Network Pilot. Many good things have developed because of this endeavor and various groups came together to plan the best ways to help young children develop into lifelong learners. Perhaps the most notable outcome was that each of us saw our early childhood focus turn from a one sided approach to one that could be described as team based!