Louisiana Businesses Can Help Children Learn and Grow, and Earn a Tax Credit Along the Way

Published 3:19 pm Saturday, December 23, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

This holiday season, Louisiana businesses can help hundreds of our communities’ youngest children and earn a break on their tax bills, too. Businesses are awarded a dollar-for-dollar reduction on their annual taxes when they donate to the state’s School Readiness Tax Credit (SRTC) program, which helps fund early childhood education centers. In turn, their contributions become school supplies, classroom improvements, and training opportunities for teachers who care for and work with children ages 0-4.

Since its founding by the state Legislature in 2007, the tax credit program allows any business with a state tax ID number to contribute up to $5,000 a year to their region’s Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agency, which is chiefly responsible for placing children into early childhood learning centers. In Assumption, Lafourche, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. James, St. John, St. Tammany, Terrebonne and Washington parishes, that agency is Agenda for Children.

Agenda for Children relies on the SRTC program to help support its Early Childhood Opportunity (ECHO) grants program, which has delivered more than $8 million since 2018 to groups devoted to teaching and caring for Louisiana’s youngest learners. “These donations are a huge part of our success supporting hundreds of early childhood education centers across southeast Louisiana,” said Agenda CEO Jen Roberts. “It’s conscientious business owners like these are helping us boost Louisiana’s future generation of civic leaders and entrepreneurs before they even start pre-school.” A business owner who contributes to the SRTC receives a 100-percent credit toward their tax bill, giving them a chance to not only help children learn and develop but also to decide where a portion of their state tax dollars will be spent.

The SRTC program has also proven to be a safety net for early childhood education centers in a state where natural disasters pose a threat every year. Agenda for Children in 2021 coupled SRTC revenue with other funding sources to help 382 centers recover after Hurricane Ida struck that September.

“The holiday season, when things are calm weather-wise, is a perfect time to build up future resources for these learning centers and our most vulnerable children and families,” Roberts said. “We never know what hurricane season will bring. What we do know is that we have thousands of children who could benefit from access to early learning. Every Louisiana business, big and small, has a chance to be part of the solution and help build a brighter future for all of us.”