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We're shaping fair and equitable public policy for all of DC's children and youth to grow up safe, resilient, powerful, and heard.

With the support of individuals and private foundations, DC Action for Children uses research, data, and a lens toward race equity to break down barriers that stand in the way of all kids reaching their full potential. Our collaborative advocacy campaigns empower young people and all residents to raise their voices to create change.


What's New?


New locations for town hall meetings

By now you've probably heard about the town hall meetings that Chairman Gray is holding in every ward in an effort to unite the city following the divisive primary. I am planning to attend the one tonight in Ward 7 and just received this notice yesterday that the locations for the remaining town halls have changed. (Thanks, Fair Budget Coalition...

Picture books going the way of the Dodo?

What ever happened to "a picture's worth a thousand words?" Apparently, parents no longer buy into that age-old adage. Achievement-minded parents, ever focused on getting their 5-year-old into Harvard, or maybe Yale, are rejecting picture books for their children in favor of "big kid" books with chapters, according to this New York Times article . At first, when I read...

What we can learn from Fairfax County

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the 4th annual Fairfax Future’s School Readiness Leadership Forum. This year’s focus was on STEM (Science, Engineering, Technology, Math) and the impact on early education (birth to five). The list of panelist and keynote speaker were quite impressive and I was ready to take notes. Joan Lombardi, deputy assistant secretary for early childhood...

What do the new child poverty numbers mean for our work and our city?

Well, I hate to admit it, but when the Census Bureau released staggering new figures on rising child poverty last week, I was worlds away on a long-planned trip with my family in of all places, Paris, France. Walking around that great city, where beautiful buildings and breathtaking monuments attest to its long history of revolution, war, turmoil and triumph,...

T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood is coming to D.C.!

One of our goals with "Little Citizens, Big Issues" is to showcase diverse voices and viewpoints from the community on issues affecting young children in the District. This post is by Lauren Hogan, director of public policy at the National Black Child Development Institute (NBDCI). I don’t remember the name of my 2nd grade teacher, or my 6th grade social...

Lowering licensing standards for child care is not the answer

The Washington Post had an article this week that left me scratching my head. The story, " D.C. day-care licensing criticized ," was ostensibly about would-be child care providers complaining about the barriers to entry to opening a licensed community or home-based child care center in the District. One of the women profiled lives with four young foster children, her...

Provider Viewpoint: Proposed child care regs address quality but ignore cost

Update: In today's Washington Post, a critique of D.C.'s tough licensing requirements for child care providers. Read the story here . Editor's Note: On July 30, the D.C. Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) released proposed amendments to the District’s Child Development Facilities Licensing and Fee requirements. (View them here .) The public comment period was slated to...

More U.S. children than ever before living in poverty

Yesterday the Census Bureau released new figures revealing deepening poverty across America. One in seven, or 44 million, Americans live in poverty, and the number of children living in poverty is at the highest point since the Census began tracking this data -- one in five children, or 15 million. In the District, the situation is even more dire for...

Gray wins after campaigning on early childhood education

The Washington Post 's headline this morning proclaims " A decisive victory for Gray " in the D.C. mayoral primary. The paper's coverage of the race focused on the differing styles of the candidates: Mayor Fenty as the brash, bold leader who wasn't afraid to make unpopular decisions to improve the city's schools and Chairman Gray, a conciliatory, consensus-seeking traditionalist...

New brain scanning technique can measure child development

Between the ages of 0 to 3, children's brains develop most rapidly, creating the vital brain connections or wiring that is critical to later learning, social skills and impulse control. That's one of the main reasons why it's important to invest early in a child's healthy development. If we miss this opportunity to properly "wire the brain," we may never...

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We need you.

Despite a booming economy, the District has one of the highest child poverty rates in the country, with more than one quarter of children and youth living in families struggling to make ends meet. Let's work together to break down structural barriers that stand in the way of all kids reaching their full potential.  Join Us!