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The risk indicators included in this report cut across important areas that impact the lives of young children, are available at the parish level, and are updated annually thereby enabling the tracking of emerging trends. These risk indicators span three domains: Economic Factors, Health Factors and Education Factors. Risk is based strictly on a comparison of parishes within Louisiana, thereby excluding any comparison to other states or regions of the country. An average score across all 11 indicators is used to define the overall risk of each parish. Based on the average scores, parishes are placed in one of four risk groups: Low, Low- Moderate, Moderate-High and High.

Reach was determined by requesting data from the Louisiana Departments of Health and Hospitals, Children and Family Services, and Education, on the major publicly funded early childhood programs in Louisiana. This information on children being served is then overlaid onto maps of the overall risk, or other specific risk indicators, thereby detailing the percentage of coverage of these programs in relation to the need.