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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?


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...

We need to get on the same page about third grade reading

DC Action just delivered a letter to Mayor Gray urging him to sign on to the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The push is to get all children across the country and in the District reading proficiently by the third grade. Why? Because research shows that if children are not proficient by the end...

The good and the bad news on the federal budget

I'll start with the good news....Yesterday, President Obama released his budget proposal for 2012, keeping his promise to freeze non-security-related domestic spending for the next five years. The good news is the downsized budget still manages to include more funding for vulnerable children and families, including necessary investments in early education, including $350 million for the Early Learning Challenge Fund...

Finally a one-stop shop for finding child care in D.C.!

When I was three months pregnant I started my search. At the time I wanted the best quality care for my unborn child anticipating that I would go back to work full-time. I was looking for accredited centers with bright and beautiful space, but most importantly caring and patient teachers. I only wanted the very best for my child. I...

Reading the Census tea leaves

The Census 2010 numbers have been coming out over the past few weeks, unleashing the usual torrent of stories looking back on how our country has changed over the last decade. The Census tracts for the District are not expected to come out until late this month or early March, but we can already make some basic predictions with confidence...

BB Otero named Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services

This morning, Mayor Gray announced the appointment of Beatriz 'BB' Otero as the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services. BB's appointment may be a boon to the early care and education field. She is the founder and president of CentroNia, which began as a small child care center housed in a church in Columbia Heights and now has grown...

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