Agenda for Children launches “80 for 80 Challenge” to raise funds for child care centers

Published 4:29 pm Tuesday, November 30, 2021

NEW ORLEANS — Agenda for Children has been leading the region’s Hurricane Ida response for child care centers through a grant program that has provided over $270,000 in funding to 270 child care programs in impacted parishes in Southeast Louisiana, including St. John the Baptist, St. Charles, and St. James parishes. But the hurricane recovery efforts for centers have been insufficient. Donations raised through the SRTC program will enable Agenda to continue to provide centers with grants for operating funds, scholarships for children, and more, critical for parents to be able to return to the workforce and the region’s continued economic recovery.

Agenda for Children has launched the “80 for 80 Challenge” aimed at businesses in Southeast Louisiana. Eighty percent of a child’s brain is developed by age three. Agenda is challenging 80 businesses to help Louisiana’s children thrive by donating to the School Readiness Tax Credit program, which funds the organization’s Early Childhood Opportunity (ECHO) Fund. This innovative grant program directly supports the needs of early learning centers in SE Louisiana and helped over 270 centers get up and running after Hurricane Ida. This is critical for parents to be able to return to the workforce and the region’s continued economic recovery. Through the School Readiness Tax Credit program businesses with a Louisiana Tax ID are eligible to receive a 100% refundable state tax credit up to $5,000 for contributions to Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (CCR&R), including Agenda for Children, a CCR&R for 12 parishes in Southeast Louisiana. Donations raised through the SRTC program will enable Agenda to continue to provide centers with grants for operating funds, scholarships for children and more.

“Even before the disruption of the pandemic and hurricane, our region already faced a child care crisis, with over 70% of low-income children under age four lacking access to publicly funded high-quality early care and education,” said Jen Roberts, CEO of Agenda for Children. “Businesses in Southeast Louisiana can help their local child care centers survive and our children and economy thrive by making a 100% refundable donation to Agenda for Children through the School Readiness Tax Credit program before the end of the year. Their donations will directly help to keep parents in the workforce today and develop the talent and skills businesses need to succeed for generations to come.”

The School Readiness Tax Credit for Businesses is part of a package of School Readiness Tax Credits (SRTCs) that was passed in 2007 to support quality child care and education. (La. Rev. Stat. § 47:6107) Businesses can take the credit against individual income tax, corporation income tax, or corporation franchise tax on your Louisiana State taxes. They can also keep their state tax dollars local by designating that their donation fund child care centers in their parish (Assumption, Jefferson, Lafourche, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. James, St. John, St. Tammany, Terrebonne and Washington).

People who are interested in learning more about the benefits of contributing to the SRTC program for their companies and Louisiana’s children, should watch Agenda’s new video “The 80 for 80 Challenge,” which can be found on the organization’s website, agendaforchildren.org. Businesses that would like to donate or learn more about the program can do so at agendaforchildren.org/taxcredits.

About Agenda for Children

Since 1984, Agenda for Children has served as Louisiana’s statewide child advocacy organization, as well as the region’s leading support organization for early childhood education (children ages 0-8). The organization works to inform public conversations on children, advocate for better policies that impact children and families, increase access to high quality early care and education, improve the quality of those experiences, and connect people to community resources.