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April 17, 2008

ULM Child Development Center program recognized at education summit

Emily Williamson, director of the ULM Child Development Center, attended the Fourth Louisiana Early Childhood Education Summit in Lafayette April 10 – 11.

The ULM Child Development Center’s LA4 preschool program was recognized during a special interest session titled “Diverse Delivery,” led by Dr. Mary Louise Jones, director of the Early Childhood Division at the Louisiana Department of Education. This session looked at non-traditional partnerships with public school systems to deliver preschool classes to four-year-olds. The ULM Child Development Center has partnered with Ouachita Parish Schools to offers a LA4 class at the ULM center.

The ULM program is the first university lab school in the state to host a LA4 class and is one of the first statewide to offer before and after school care as well as an all-day LA4 preschool program. Williamson said, “This is great for parents because ULM provides a one-stop location so parents do not have to find separate before and after school programs for their preschool children.”

More information about LA4:

LA4 refers to a certain kind of pre-kindergarten program in Louisiana; more than 15,000 four-year-olds are enrolled in them throughout the state. The number has increased substantially compared to the 1,000 children enrolled six years ago in LA4 programs.

Funding has continued to grow, but contingent on the level of quality for curriculum and teachers. Maintaining a high quality can be challenging while growing the program, but experts point out that such high standards are crucial to the LA4 pre-kindergarten programs’ success.

The center is open from 7:15 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday each semester, including summer sessions, on the ULM Campus at 702 Cole Ave.

For more information, contact the center at: (318) 342-1913.

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