BC-LA--Tax Credits-Education,1st Ld-Writethru/344
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Donors who support early childhood education get tax credits
LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — Over the past few weeks, donors have pledged $35,000 to help support an agency that provides training and support to people who work with Lafayette Parish preschoolers.
The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/1XJzyYi) the donors are in line for up to $5,000 in Louisiana tax credits each as an incentive that supports child care resource and referral agencies across the state.
But ask Daniel Noel how many donors have taken advantage of the tax credit over the past few years, and the marketing development official for a Lafayette Parish preschool education agency will tell you: zero.
"People don't know about it," Noel said of the tax credit. "That's why I'm here. I spoke to a room full of CPAs recently and only one had heard about it."
Noel started the marketing job in late summer and quickly learned that his role will also be one similar to that of his small staff of co-workers: education.
The tax credits are available for donations made by businesses, individuals or groups, such as nonprofit organizations, with a Louisiana tax identification number.
"Many people don't realize that if they do donate, their money is specifically targeting the development of quality child care in Lafayette Parish," Noel said.
Noel works for On Track by 5 Alliance (previously Success by 5 Alliance), which provides technical assistance and support to child care centers and also provides referrals to parents seeking a center for their children.
The agency is part of the Lafayette Parish school system, which received a contract from the Louisiana Department of Education to provide services to the child care centers — now more commonly referred to as early learning centers — to focus on providing children from infants to age 4 with age-appropriate learning opportunities.
Agencies are positioned across the state to support the work of early learning centers. Some are operated by nonprofit groups and work with several parishes, while the Lafayette Parish school system created its own agency.
Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com
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