Welcome!

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?


We're moving!

After nearly a year of working in borrowed space (thanks to the Diane & Norman Bernstein Foundation for making us feel so welcome), DC Action for Children is finally moving to our own dedicated offices at McPherson Square. Our phone lines are supposed to transfer, but in case you have difficult reaching us in the next few days, please contact...

Valuing the X-factor: social emotional intelligence

Did you ever think your five-year old could display such complex emotions as delayed gratification? Or question the existence of life? Or even pick up on the subtle complexities of someone’s “dry” sense of humor? This video proves that children can in fact delay gratification—they can actually wait for marshmallows! It would be very hard for my four and six-year...

Monday morning coffee break

Good morning! Is it still morning? Barely. I just had my coffee--now I'm ready to blog. This weekend, volunteers and staff at DCPS fanned out across the city to reach parents of incoming preschoolers. Chancellor Rhee called for the unprecedented door-knocking campaign to reach the parents of these youngest pupils to ensure they have all their immunizations and health forms...

Early intervention lost in the shuffle

O ne 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 Alison Whyte, policy specialist at The Arc of DC . D.C.'s Early Intervention Program (EIP) for infants and toddlers with disabilities has moved three times in the city...

Feds embrace comprehensive early learning approach

When it comes to early learning, research has shown that comprehensive programs that combine education, health, nutrition and other social and emotional supports give at-risk children the boost they need to succeed in school. That's the basis for Head Start, of course, and it's why DCPS is now expanding comprehensive early learning to all children in preschool and Pre-K classrooms...

D.C.'s AppleTree Institute wins federal i3 grant

O ne 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 Jack McCarthy, managing director of AppleTree Institute for Education Innovation . News from the US Department of Education's Investing in Innovation, or "i3" competition, leaked out on inadvertently...

Quality child care out of reach for too many in D.C.

This weekend I had a wonderful opportunity to meet with WAMU reporter Jessica Gould to discuss the high costs of child care in D.C, which according to a recent report are nearly twice the cost of annual tuition at a four-year college. The short piece, which aired on today's "Morning Edition," doesn’t cover our entire hour-long conversation, but does emphasize...

Infant mortality rises in the District

The Annie E. Casey Foundation released its annual Kids Count report on indicators of childhood well being this week and the news is decidedly mixed for young children in the District. On one hand, many indicators of childhood well being showed improvement since 2000, including the percentage of low-birth weight babies, mortality rates for children ages 1-14, and the percentage...

If it makes sense in Macon

The Macon (Ga.) Telegraph had a series yesterday exploring the powerful benefits of public investments in quality early care and early education for the entire city--from reducing crime and increasing high school and college graduation rates to boosting the city's economic prospects and reducing costs to taxpayers in the long run. The business community in Macon, once skeptical of calls...

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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!