LSU Early Childhood Institute Collaborates on Louisiana Board of Regents-funded project builds successful early childhood workforce

June 07, 2024

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In order to build a robust early childhood workforce pipeline, the Louisiana Board of Regents funded a high school dual enrollment project to prepare students for work in early childhood care and education.

“The Board of Regents is invested in initiatives to build an educated workforce and ensure that young children have the best early care experiences, as research has long demonstrated that an educated caregiver is essential to young children’s development,” said Michelle DeMeulenaere, PhD, Assistant Commissioner for Strategic Planning and Student Success at the Louisiana Board of Regents.

Participating parishes included Iberville and Washington Parishes. LSU’s Early Childhood Education Institute (ECEI), which operates an Early Childhood Ancillary Program and Northshore Technical Community College provided programming for the high school students during their school day. Iberville Parish Early Childhood Supervisor Lydia Canova and Washington Parish Early Childhood Supervisor Leslie Hodges coordinated community-based placements for the high school students, working closely with highly-rated child care centers in their parishes.

Students across both parishes completed their coursework, with the Iberville students finishing and passing their Child Development Associate (CDA) Council exams. The Louisiana Board of Regents has collaborated with the LSU ECEI to submit an early childhood Registered Apprenticeship Program, as well as to move the Industry-Based Certification (IBC) for early care and education professionals to the state-focus list, which should encourage more high schools to adopt this program and make workforce funding available. “Several early childhood advocates have been working on these initiatives for many years. It is wonderful to see these plans coming to fruition. These initiatives have the potential to positively impact the field of early childhood care and education for children in Louisiana,” said Cynthia DiCarlo, PhD, Executive Director of the LSU ECEI.

About the Early Childhood Education Institute

The Early Childhood Education Institute (ECEI) at LSU is an umbrella organization to promote research and disseminate recommended practices in early childhood care and education. ECEI is focused holistically on the early years and fills a unique niche by targeting birth through age three. The institute develops expert care practitioners who deliver high-quality early childhood programming, engage in research practices, and advocate for the profession. ECEI focuses on research, education, and outreach and is housed within LSU's College of Human Sciences & Education. Visit the Early Childhood Education Institute at

About the LSU College of Human Sciences & Education

The College of Human Sciences & Education (CHSE) is a nationally accredited division of Louisiana State University. The college is comprised of the School of Education, the School of Information Studies, the School of Kinesiology the School of Leadership & Human Resource Development, and the School of Social Work. CHSE has two model demonstration schools, the Early Childhood Education Laboratory Preschool, enrolling birth to age four and the University Laboratory School enrolling Kindergarten through grade 12. The college also has four centers and institutes: the Early Childhood Education Institute, the Healthy Aging Research Center, the Leadership Development Institute, and Social Research & Evaluation Center. The college is committed to achieving the highest standards in teaching, research, and service and is committed to improving quality of life across the lifespan. Visit the College of Human Sciences & Education website.