Welcome!

DC Action for Children is a nonprofit, nonpartisan child and youth advocacy organization dedicated to using research, data, and a lens toward race equity to break down barriers that stand in the way of all kids reaching their full potential.

DC Action is the home of DC KIDS COUNT, the primary source for data on conditions and outcomes for kids’ well-being. DC Action's collaborative advocacy campaigns empower young people and all residents to raise their voices to create change.


What's New?


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 with a gentle...

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 the...

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 attend...

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...

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 us...

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...

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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!