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Governor Edwards selects NELA representative for Louisiana children’s board

Published: May. 3, 2021 at 7:10 PM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has selected someone from Northeast Louisiana for the state’s Children’s Cabinet Advisory Board.

Leann Bond, who serves as the Executive Director for the Children’s Coalition of Northeast Louisiana, is expected to be a voice for local children in Baton Rouge. The board gives state lawmakers ideas on what needs to improve regarding children’s health and childcare issues.

Bond says she is excited to bridge the gap between the lawmakers and the community.

“It’s my duty to listen to the community, to listen to families, and then carry those words, those needs to the state, and let the state, and those who are making decisions at a programming level, to let them know what is needed in Northeast Louisiana,” Bond said.

During the pandemic, several child care businesses closed, causing more than $137M in losses across the state. Bond’s goal on the board is to bring to light the importance of reinvesting in childhood development.

“It’s a critical investment, and it is one of the best investments we can ever make. We know that we could make a return of up to 13% in early childhood investment. So it’s not something that is just economically feasible and important. We also know that the lack of it is going to be devastating,” Bond said.

She says the Advisory Board has to focus on early child care.

“We have to do it, we have to reach in, and we have to find this quality support, in early childcare because it doesn’t only affect the workforce of the future, but it’s providing developmental training and education for students, that’s hugely important, and we are affecting the workforce of today,” Bond said.

She has already started working for the Advisory Board. Now she’s planning to hold community meetings to hear from parents and childcare employees to find out what else needs to be improved.

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