RPSB Early Childhood Programs Celebrate their Highest Performance Scores & Rapides Early Childhood Network Announces the Early Childhood Education Initiative


ALEXANDRIA, La.--Today, RPSB’s Early Childhood Programs celebrated their highest performance scores and the Rapides Early Childhood Network announced their Early Childhood Education Initiative in partnership with The Rapides Foundation, Central Louisiana Community Foundation, the Rotary Club of Alexandria, and community stakeholders.

The Louisiana Department of Education released the 2022-2023 Early Childhood Performance Profiles and the Rapides Parish Performance Profile score is 5.84, up from 5.75 for 2021-2022. With a score of 5.84, Rapides parish ranks sixth in Louisiana.

The ultimate goal of Early Childhood Education is to close the gap and allow every child in Rapides Parish enter Kindergarten ready for success. While progress is being made, access to quality early childhood learning is needed. Today, too few children are being served in the birth to three population due to the lack of funding. At-risk families want their children to access high-quality early care, but they do not have the means.

To assist in increasing early childhood learning opportunities, community partners have joined together to support access, expansion, and enrollment in programs for Rapides Parish children ages 0-3. Rapides Parish is participating in the Louisiana Early Childhood Education Fund program, which is offering local entities in Louisiana a dollar-for-dollar match on investments made to expand access to quality early care and education for children who need it most.

The Rapides Foundation’s Board of Trustees allocated up to $3.9 million to help low-income families in three parishes afford early childhood education. Of that amount, $2.4 million has been awarded to the Rapides Parish School Board. $1.4 million will be used to provide the local dollar match required to receive funds from the Louisiana Early Childhood Education Fund and $1 million to incentivize communities to invest in early childhood education. 

Joe Rosier, President and CEO of The Rapides Foundation stated, “Children who attend high-quality early childhood programs before kindergarten are more likely to complete high school and go through their school careers without repeating a grade…”

The Rotary Club of Alexandria Board has endorsed the ECE Investment Initiative as its Signature Project, chaired by Patrick and Randalle Moore. The Rotary Club of Alexandria agrees to financially invest in the Rapides ECE program and commits to encouraging all members to do the same.

The Community Foundation of Central Louisiana (CLCF) has partnered with the Rapides Parish School Early Childhood program to establish the ECE Initiative Fund. Financial contributions can be made by visiting clcf.net. 

More information can also be found at rapidesearlychildhoodnetwork.com