At DC Action, we know the District’s young people can accomplish anything when they have a fair chance. And we also know how much stands in their way -- particularly our young people most affected by poverty and racism. These are powerful injustices, and they must be met with an equally powerful response. 

We are excited to release our latest policy brief which looks at the Out-of-school time landscape in the District of Columbia, who it serves, how it’s funded and what impact it has on the lives of young people. 

WASHINGTON, DC — DC’s early childhood owners and operators are saying they are worried about their businesses surviving in a sector stretched beyond its limits. A new survey, taken nine months after pandemic health and safety restrictions closures led to sharp enrollment drops with only limited government relief, reveals a sector teetering on the brink of collapse. 

We are writing to follow up on our November 20 letter sharing ideas about how the out-of-school time sector can better collaborate with DC Public Schools, public charter schools, and the students and families they serve, as we navigate the pandemic and look to give our kids the support they need and deserve. 

When 2020 began, none of us could have imagined what challenges would confront us this year. The racist policies and resulting circumstances that put Black and brown children, youth and families at a disadvantage when it comes to learning, staying healthy, and maintaining economic security were exploited and exacerbated by COVID-19. The parallel pandemics of a racial reckoning and a destabilized democracy further undermined the safety and well-being of tens of thousands of District residents. We’ve had to fight hard and the battle is far from over. 

Antes de que la pandemia de COVID-19 afectara al Distrito, los programas de cuidado infantil o aprendizaje temprano ya se encontraban bajo presión. No había suficientes vacantes para todos los bebés y niños pequeños que lo necesitaban y, para muchas familias del Distrito, no siempre eran accesibles o asequibles. Ahora, tras nueve meses de restricciones relativas a la salud y la seguridad, cierres, subsidios gubernamentales limitados y un drástico descenso de las inscripciones, los docentes de educación temprana que se han dedicado a cuidar de nuestros ciudadanos más jóvenes se están preguntando si sus negocios sobrevivirán. 

Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the District, child care/early learning programs were already stretched thin. There weren’t enough slots for all the infants and toddlers who needed them, and child care was not always accessible or affordable to many District families. Now, after nine months of health and safety restrictions, closures, limited government subsidies, and dramatically decreased enrollment, early childhood educators who have dedicated themselves to caring for our youngest citizens are wondering if their businesses will survive. 

WASHINGTON, DC — Nearly 1 in 5 families with children living in the District of Columbia are worried about paying their rent or making their next mortgage payment, according to Kids, Families and COVID-19: Pandemic Pain Points and the Urgent Need to Respond. A new, 50-state report of recent household data developed by the Annie E. Casey Foundation analyzes how families are faring during the COVID-19 crisis.