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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.


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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...

Update: Quality indicators for Pre-K

This morning I had the opportunity to attend a demonstration of a new assessment tool for Pre-K developed by the AppleTree Institute for Education Innovation , hosted by the Fight for Children and the Early Childhood Academy Public Charter School. The new tool is called Quality Indicators and grew out of work done by AppleTree under a federal grant from...

What does quality Pre-K look like?

A late announcement: Tomorrow, Thursday, Sept. 9, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Fight For Children and the AppleTree Institute for Education innovation are offering a free session to demonstrate a new observational tool for preschool and Pre-K called Quality Indicators. The tool was developed with support from the DC Partnership for Early Literacy. Early childhood providers are invited to...

Mayoral candidates address issues affecting D.C.'s youngest citizens

Last night's candidate forum at the Channel Inn was attended by dozens of voters who care for and about young children in the District. Many thanks to our partners at the DC Association for the Education of Young Children and Pre-K for All DC for putting on a great event. Five candidates were there: Vincent Gray, Michael Green, Leo Alexander,...

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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!