The Children’s Coalition for Northeast Louisiana has partnered with Monroe City Schools and Downsville Community Charter School to offer more seats in local Pre-K programs. Early education is critical to the development of mental, social, and emotional skills in young children. Because Monroe City Schools’ Pre-K programs often fill up very early, The Children’s Coalition is working to offer more Pre-K seats at more locations. Students in the Pre-K Expansion program receive the same lessons as students in the primary program, with fully accredited certified teachers running the Pre-K Expansion classes. One of the Pre-K Expansion classes is held at a childcare center, Little Flower Academy, but The Children’s Coalition Pre-K Expansion Coordinator Karla Parker wants to reassure parents that the quality of education is the same. “Everything is the exact same. You’re just going to a different location. Your kids are getting the same math and ELA,” Parker said. Applicants to the Pre-K Expansion program are reviewed in the same manner as the primary program, ensuring that the additional seats go to families and children that need them. Currently, The Children’s Coalition’s Pre-K Expansion program is responsible for an additional 20 Pre-K seats in Monroe and 20 Pre-K seats in Downsville, but The Children’s Coalition will keep working to grow this program and bring early education to even more of the children in Monroe and Union Parish!