Early Childhood Education Millage

Dedicated Funding Streams

  • Property Tax

New Orleans, Louisiana

In 2022, voters in New Orleans, LA, passed a property tax levy that, along with state matching funds, will provide early childhood education to 2,000 children from low-income households annually. The campaign won a 5 millage property tax that will raise $21 million in the first year and will be doubled by the state’s matching fund. The program will provide child and family support services, coaching and professional development for teachers, and expand the supply of quality early learning centers.

Connections to Key Early Learning Study at Harvard (ELS@H) Findings:

Stable, robust funding is essential to expanding and improving early education. Unlike K-12 education, early education has historically been supported through a fragmented – and largely insufficient – set of federal, state, and local funds. Research suggests there is a need for more accessible, affordable, and high-quality approach to early education across the mixed-delivery system – and for better financial and professional supports for the educators who serve children and families each day; creating dedicated funding streams can therefore help states and cities address these needs and achieve these goals.

Findings from the Early Learning Study at Harvard (ELS@H) show:

  • Families rely on a range of formal (e.g., Head Start, center-based care, public pre-K) and more informal (e.g., home-based, relative care) early education settings; when choosing a setting for their child, families balance many logistical constraints and personal preferences.
  • But for many families – and especially low- and middle-income families – early education choices remain tightly constrained due to issues of affordability and supply.
  • No one early education setting type is inherently of higher quality than another; children develop and learn well in every setting type, and in the study, all setting types showed room to grow in quality.
  • Early educators play a critical role in supporting the well-being of young children and families across setting types.
  • Yet their pay, benefits, and other professional supports are often inadequate in light of the job demands and their cost of living.
Learn More about ELS@H Findings

Learn more about New Orleans

Context matters. Visit the New Orleans profile page to learn more about the city landscape.

  • The city population is 369,749.
  • The percentage of children under age 5 is 5.7%.
  • The median family income among households with children is $45,594.