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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?


D.C.'s AppleTree Institute wins federal i3 grant

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 Jack McCarthy, managing director of AppleTree Institute for Education Innovation . News from the US Department of Education's Investing in Innovation, or "i3" competition, leaked out on inadvertently...

Quality child care out of reach for too many in D.C.

This weekend I had a wonderful opportunity to meet with WAMU reporter Jessica Gould to discuss the high costs of child care in D.C, which according to a recent report are nearly twice the cost of annual tuition at a four-year college. The short piece, which aired on today's "Morning Edition," doesn’t cover our entire hour-long conversation, but does emphasize...

Infant mortality rises in the District

The Annie E. Casey Foundation released its annual Kids Count report on indicators of childhood well being this week and the news is decidedly mixed for young children in the District. On one hand, many indicators of childhood well being showed improvement since 2000, including the percentage of low-birth weight babies, mortality rates for children ages 1-14, and the percentage...

If it makes sense in Macon

The Macon (Ga.) Telegraph had a series yesterday exploring the powerful benefits of public investments in quality early care and early education for the entire city--from reducing crime and increasing high school and college graduation rates to boosting the city's economic prospects and reducing costs to taxpayers in the long run. The business community in Macon, once skeptical of calls...

Defending Head Start

In case you missed it: U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius issued a strong defense of Head Start in yesterday's issue of USA Today . Her letter was in response to an editorial by the paper urging the administration to "fix Head Start before throwing more money at it." She writes: "The Obama administration agrees, and Head...

Budget advocacy 101: Messaging to the barriers

One 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 Lauren Hogan, director of public policy at the National Black Child Development Institute . Recently I attended a Children’s Budget Summit, sponsored by First Focus , a bipartisan children’s...

No time to abandon Head Start

Opponents of federal funding for Head Start found new ammunition in the results of the most recent study of the program by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The study released earlier this year followed 5,000 children between 2002 and 2006 and found no difference in academic achievement by the end of the first grade between students who...

DC school lunches go gourmet

Following national trends to defeat childhood obesity and to promote healthy eating standards, including efforts made by the First Lady to eradicate childhood obesity, an epidemic that affects over 20% of DC children, Top Chef contestants made a beeline for DC Public Schools last week. Their challenge? To whip up healthy lunch options for the District’s children, on only $2.50...

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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!