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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?


It takes a village – and $300,000 – to raise a child

With Father’s Day and Mother’s Day fresh in our memories, it’s a good time to think about everything parents spend caring for their children. According to a new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), a middle-income family with a child born in 2011 will spend nearly $235,000 to raise that child over the next 17 years. Factoring in...

The Messy Reality of Education Policy

Editor's Note: DC Action is pleased to welcome Bonnie O’Keefe, who will be joining us this summer as an Education Pioneers Fellow. In my professional and personal life, I’ve often had to explain why I care about education, and why I’m focusing my graduate studies on education policy. It’s a fair question, but I find it surprisingly tough to answer...

Kenyan McDuffie: How are children faring in your ward?

On behalf of DC Action for Children and this Ward 5 resident: Warm congratulations to Kenyan McDuffie, the new Ward 5 councilmember who is being sworn in today.Here at DC Action for Children, we hope Councilmember McDuffie will join us in being a strong advocate for children in Ward 5 and citywide. They need adult voices speaking up for their...

The forgotten ingredient

Last week the New America Foundation hosted a discussion of how to overcome challenges in child care and improve quality in early child care settings. Conversations such as these continue to excite me as my passion lies in improving quality child care for ALL children. Listening to three very different perspectives on our current state of child care drew me...

Learning expeditions at Two Rivers Public Charter School

What does a successful school look like? We can all agree on some qualities that good schools need, as well as various models of success. At DC Action for Children, we think of schools as parts of neighborhoods. Like the communities that surround them, each one has unique assets, needs and visions for success. Paying attention to these aspects can...

Reflections for Mother’s Day

I am the lucky mother of two amazing kids. Yesterday reminded me of how lucky I truly am. Motherhood brings so much joy to my life, but it is also the hardest and most humbling job I have ever had. At times, the responsibility of creating tender, sweet and conscientious members of society is daunting. As someone who was educated...

In Praise of Teachers

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week. All week, there are small and big celebrations throughout our schools to celebrate all the wonderful things our teachers are doing in the classroom.I think the most challenging job is that of being a teacher – for any grade! I personally would never teach in the middle school grades – the developing personalities, the...

Building the mental health system our city’s children so desperately need – and deserve

Today, we welcome Shannon Hall, the executive director of the D.C. Behavioral Health Association, for a guest post about our newly released data snapshot, Children’s Mental Health in D.C.: The Mismatch Between Need and Treatment.An advisory committee for the D.C. Medicaid program recently completed a forthcoming analysis of children’s access to mental health services. It found that nearly 9 out...

A local solution to a national concern

Last week, I attended an early learning forum at the Boeing Company, a company that “gets it” when it comes to the importance of quality early learning experiences. With an impressive list of speakers, I was most surprised by the unique perspective of Boeing’s Vice President of Combat Air Force Systems, Jack Catton. I’ll admit that prior to hearing Jack...

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