JMU News

JMU to address childcare and teacher shortage

by Hannah Lynn Robinson


A partnership with James Madison University is helping Louisa County address a severe lack of affordable childcare by preparing the next generation of teachers to make a difference with a new program offering education and care for 3-year-old and 4-year-old children of Louisa County School employees.

The Little Lions Learning Lab at Louisa County High School will give students in the school’s teacher training academy exposure to the child care field during the 2019-2020 school year. This initiative is in response to the profound teacher and childcare shortages impacting thousands of families nationwide.

“The feedback we've gotten from both our students and our staff has been extremely positive. We are excited to watch this program grow as we partner with James Madison University to make it even better than it already is,” says Kenneth Bouwens, Louisa County school division’s career and technology director for STEAM and innovation.

The idea for the lab came after Louisa’s career and technology staff contacted Reece Wilson, a professor of early childhood education at JMU, which operates a similar lab staffed by college students. The schools are partly funding the lab’s start-up with a federal Perkins Grant and support from the Virginia Department of Education.

If you are interested in covering this story, please contact me. I would be happy to connect you with program organizers.

Media contact: Hannah Robinson,, 520-222-2808

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Published: Monday, September 23, 2019

Last Updated: Monday, September 23, 2019

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