Birth to Eight Quality Initiative
DC Action for Children promotes innovative and successful policies and programs to ensure that all children in the District have a strong start in life from birth to age eight.
Our focus is on building a strong foundation for lifelong learning and success by expanding access to quality early care and education from birth. But the reality is that development begins in utero, which is why we also support child and maternal health, beginning in the early prenatal stages. And recognizing that a child's development is affected by the context in which she or he lives, we support efforts to strengthen families and communities, and to break the cycle of poverty that can span generations.
To date, efforts to improve outcomes for children in the District have focused on K-12 and PreK reform. There is now an effort to expand this focus to comprehensive birth-to-three programs.
DC Action for Children believes children can benefit most from an even broader approach that supports them from infancy through the transition to school with a seamless web of services and education through age 8, or approximately 3rd grade. This is a critical point at which students are first tested. Research is clear that children who lag behind in the 3rd grade often never catch up.
Ensuring that every child is prepared at these earliest stages is a proven strategy to bolster the odds of success much later in life, even in college.
DC ACTION FOR CHILDREN WORKS TO ADVANCE THE CREATION OF A BIRTH TO EIGHT FRAMEWORK THROUGH THREE CONCRETE STRATEGIES:
- Leadership development to build new champions for a Birth to Eight policy agenda;
- Coalition building to ensure partnership and collaboration; and,
- Research and policy analysis of the issues impacting the health, well-being and early education of the District’s youngest children.