WHAT IS OPENetwork?
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 will also work to help families to make the best choices for their child’s early care and education and to be involved in supporting their child’s early development.
In 2012, the Louisiana legislature passed Act 3, the Early Childhood Act. Act 3 requires BESE (the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education) to create a unified system to manage all publicly funded early childhood programs. To begin this process, the Louisiana Department of Education selected communities around the state to become “Early Childhood Network Pilots.” Ouachita Parish was one of 13 communities selected to become a pilot in the first round.
All publicly funded early childhood programs must comply with Act 3. These programs include: public school programs (LA 4, 8g, Title I), special education programs, Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP), Head Start, Early Head Start, Early Steps, and the Nonpublic School Early Childhood Development (NSECD) program.
Program Partners in the OPENetwork include:
- Type 3 licensed child care centers-Cubhouse Early Learning Center, Child’s Play II, CHILDS Childcare 2, Claiborne Christian Preschool, College Prep Learning Center, DREAM Academy, Excellent, Faith Brighter Beginnings Day Care, The Assembly Kidz Care, Home Away From Home Day Care, Kiddie Garden Day Care, Kid’s World Development Center, 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 Child Development Center, Open Arms, Radiance West, Playhowse Learning Center, Radiance Child Development Center, Small World Infant & Child Development Center, Stepping Stones Child Care Center, TB’s Child Care, Wonderland Child Care, 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,
- Prime Time Head Start,
- The coordinating partner for the OPENetwork is the Children’s Coalition for Northeast Louisiana. The majority of Lead Agencies are led by school systems. Ouachita Parish is different because it has two public school systems. The Children’s Coalition has a positive working relationship with both school systems and with all other providers of early care and education. Child Care Connections, the Child Care Resource and Referral Agency for Northeast Louisiana, is a program of the Children’s Coalition.