Yesterday the DC Council passed the COVID-19 Response Emergency Amendment Act. We appreciate the Council's quick and decisive action to support vulnerable District residents and small businesses. As we all navigate this unfamiliar public health situation, the needs of child care and youth providers require additional immediate action to ensure that providers remain viable and that families - particularly low-income families - can maintain their much needed support.

Under 3 DC, associated organizations and advocates wrote a letter requesting immediate and clear guidance and action from the Executive Office of the Mayor of the District of Columbia, the DC Council, and the Office of the State Superintendent of Education and related agencies regarding policy choices that can help child care providers and the families they serve remain operable, financially stable and, to the degree possible, open during and after the ongoing COVID-19/coronavirus emergency.

Read the full letter here on Under 3 DC's website. 

WASHINGTON, DC – February 18, 2020 – Under 3 DC, a broad coalition of parents, early educators, advocates, community and business leaders, gets ready to create the most forward-reaching early childhood campaign in the nation by asking Mayor Bowser to invest  $41.5 million, less than 1% of DC’s $15 billion budget, into making high-quality, child care affordable for District families. The objective is clear: care for DC’s littlest residents by improving the quality of childhood education infants and toddlers receive as well as building a skilled, experienced, and fairly compensated early education workforce.

Last year, Washington, D.C.’s Mayor and Council enacted ground-breaking legislation that sets the city on a path to creating a strong and equitable foundation for its youngest residents. The Birth-to-Three For All DC Act of 2018 is a blueprint for comprehensive education and health services for infants and toddlers that seeks to end the stark inequities in services, supports and opportunities that exist — by race and income — for children and families in our community.

The Council of the District of Columbia passed a nearly $16 million investment as a partial yet key down payment on the Birth-to-Three for All DC Act of 2018. The Council’s commitment will fund measures to ensure healthier birth outcomes and supports for the District’s youngest residents to grow and thrive. Collective advocacy to hold the Council accountable to the promise of the unanimous passage of the Birth to Three for All DC Act resulted in this partial funding but more money is needed to fully implement the new law. 

Since 1992, DC Action for Children has served as a leading voice working on behalf of DC children and families. Through research and advocacy for equitable policies, we work to ensure that all DC children have the opportunity to reach their full potential, regardless of their race/ethnicity, zip code or family’s income. We are also the home of DC KIDS COUNT, an online resource that tracks key indicators of child well-being in the District.