A Spotlight on Hispanic Children in DC

October is Hispanic Heritage Month! In the District of Columbia, Hispanic children represent 15 percent of the under 18 population. Moreover, there are over 7,000 Hispanic/Latino children under age 5 in DC.

In 2014, we released a policy brief entitled Giving Hispanic Students a Chance to Succeed from the Start, that explored how race and ethnicity intersect with early learning in the District. We learned through this research and data analysis that we must improve access to quality early care and education (ECE) programs that are inclusive and culturally competent in order to address the needs of Hispanic/Latino children and their families.

Since limited English language proficiency upon kindergarten entry is often a significant contributing factor to math and reading achievement during elementary school, Hispanic children are especially positioned to benefit from enrollment in high-quality programs designed to engage their needs. Despite these benefits, Hispanic children are much less likely to be enrolled in an ECE program than children of other racial/ ethnic groups. A 2015 report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation found that 63% of Hispanic children do not attend preschool nationally, compared with 51% of black and white children.

In order to reduce achievement gaps, the District must reduce barriers to accessing ECE resources. For children under age 5, parents’ beliefs and attitudes and the successful engagement of families are the greatest drivers to children’s participation in early childhood education programs. To support family engagement and children’s early learning, it is crucial that programs conduct outreach to and develop partnerships with families from all racial and ethnic backgrounds. 


Using Data to Make a Difference! 

In the work that we do, it is imperative that we use data to inform our decisions and help children and their families access the resources they need. But with so many different tools and resources, it can be hard to find trusted information.

That’s where the Data Center comes in. The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s KIDS COUNT Data Center contains thousands of child well-being indicators related to education, poverty, health and youth risk factors. By being able to filter by state, city, county and congressional district, users are able to access data that is relevant in their communities. Visit the Data Center today to enact change.



We are thrilled to share that two new staff have joined DC Action team!

Erica Dean joins us as our new Research and Data Manager. Erica previously worked as a Policy Analyst at the CT KIDS COUNT where she focused on advocating for low-income youth and their families, largely on the effects of parental incarceration on children.

Ruqiyyah Abu-Anbar is our Home Visiting Policy Fellow. Ruqiyyah brings a wealth of research and policy background as her recent experience working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on disease prevention policy for primarily disparate populations. Her community service in at-risk communities has given her work the benefit of a lens built on a combination of direct service and policy analysis.