Welcome!

We're shaping fair and equitable public policy for all of DC's children and youth to grow up safe, resilient, powerful, and heard.

With the support of individuals and private foundations, DC Action for Children uses research, data, and a lens toward race equity to break down barriers that stand in the way of all kids reaching their full potential. Our collaborative advocacy campaigns empower young people and all residents to raise their voices to create change.


What's New?


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...

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...

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...

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...

Monday morning coffee break

Good morning! Is it still morning? Barely. I just had my coffee--now I'm ready to blog. This weekend, volunteers and staff at DCPS fanned out across the city to reach parents of incoming preschoolers. Chancellor Rhee called for the unprecedented door-knocking campaign to reach the parents of these youngest pupils to ensure they have all their immunizations and health forms...

Early intervention lost in the shuffle

O ne of our goals with "Little Citizens, Big Issues" is to showcase diverse voices and viewpoints from the community on issues affecting young children in the District. This post is by Alison Whyte, policy specialist at The Arc of DC . D.C.'s Early Intervention Program (EIP) for infants and toddlers with disabilities has moved three times in the city...

Feds embrace comprehensive early learning approach

When it comes to early learning, research has shown that comprehensive programs that combine education, health, nutrition and other social and emotional supports give at-risk children the boost they need to succeed in school. That's the basis for Head Start, of course, and it's why DCPS is now expanding comprehensive early learning to all children in preschool and Pre-K classrooms...

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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!