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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?


The Yin and the Yang of preschool

There has been a lot of talk in the past week in light of a recent Slate article by Alison Gopnik titled “Why Preschool Shouldn’t Be Like School.” (Read the article here.)Gopnik's main point is that preschool, aka “direct instruction” (I cringe when I hear this word because no preschool has an 8-hour day consisting of sitting at a table...

Research suggests cuts to TANF may hurt children for a lifetime

Young children are reflections of their surroundings. What we expose them to and their overall experiences help shape the person they are and will become. All parents hope that they are able to provide their child with a healthy and positive childhood, but what about the families with young children who are facing poverty? We have known for quite a...

WAMU's in-depth look at quality in infant and toddler care

If you were listening to Morning Edition during your drive to work today, you may have heard a familiar voice touting the importance of quality and access in early care and education in the District. That would be DC Action Executive Director HyeSook Chung.HyeSook sat down with WAMU reporter Jessica Gould to explain the challenges in improving infant and toddler...

A beacon of hope in Ward 7

In the District, we don't have too much good news to share about progress for our most vulnerable children. Cases of child abuse and neglect are on the rise, one in three under six lives in poverty and as the budget shortfall may push more children and families beyond the brink. We anticipate cuts in child care subsidies, TANF, and...

Parent engagement as a key factor in early care and education

My colleague, Aparna, who has a nearly two-year-old daughter in child care, reminded me today of an interesting situation that often happens in early childhood: separation anxiety. As a former preschool teacher, I know the scenario very well. Parents often establish a daily routine for dropping off their children at child care or preschool, routines varying from child to child...

We've reached universal Pre-K, now what?

In the District, there has been a much-needed focus in recent years on expanding access to early education – preschool and Pre-K – for all children, a key component of Mayor Gray’s Birth to 24 agenda. While he was chairman of the D.C. Council, Mayor Gray spearheaded legislation mandating universal Pre-K for all three- and four-year- olds by 2014. And...

Why aren't more centers "Going for the Gold" in early care and education?

“Going for the Gold” in the District’s child care system not only means striving for quality in early care and education, it also means getting reimbursed at a higher rate from the government. It’s the name of D.C.’s Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) for child care, which ranks providers as either Gold, Silver or Bronze centers based on their...

Update from the Wilson Building

Last week marked the beginning of the District’s FY 2010 agency performance oversight hearings and the Wilson building has been aflutter ever since. If you haven’t attended any yet, you’ve already missed about a dozen, but not to worry, hearings are scheduled through mid-March and there’s still time to sign up to testify as well. Please see the schedule for...

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