As we reflect on the changing populations of the District in recent decades and grapple with the questions of who our city belongs to, it is important to remember the earliest residents of our city--long before it was “our city”--many of whom were killed, forced off their land, enslaved, or died from imported disease.

DC Action for Children and DC Alliance of Youth Advocates (DCAYA) recently merged to form an even stronger, independent voice for children and youth. We provide data analysis, policy solutions, and collective advocacy on critical issues facing our young people. We envision a District of Columbia where all kids, regardless of their race, family’s income, or zip code, have the opportunity to reach their full potential. We are also the home of DC KIDS COUNT, a data resource that tracks key indicators of child and youth well-being. 

Two dozen candidates are vying for one at-large seat on the DC Council this fall. Voters may cast two votes in this election. To help you decide which candidate will be the best advocate for the District’s children, youth and families, DC Action will hold Coffee with the Candidates on October 8 from 4:30pm-6pm via Zoom. 

Ballots are currently being mailed to every registered DC voter. Now is the time to make sure you know who is running for office and where they stand on critical issues that affect children, youth, and families. The election this November will be the most important one of our lifetimes. Locally and nationally we have the opportunity to shape the way our government views and protects children and families--the future and backbone of our society. Exercise your right to lift up your voice and claim your power by voting!

On Tuesday, the Office of the State Superintendent (OSSE) announced that, beginning November 1, the agency will change the way it pays child care providers that participate in the District’s child care subsidy program. This change would revert from COVID-19 payments to the pre-pandemic payment model, one not designed to account for the unique costs and obstacles the pandemic presents.

Today, Mayor Bowser’s administration announced that it is changing how it will make child care subsidy payments to licensed providers serving low-income District families, beginning November 1. This news comes one day after the administration announced the launch of its 5 million dollar child care relief fund to help all licensed child care programs stay in business.

COVID-19 has brought with it a storm of uncertainty and instability for the District’s child care providers, many of whom already struggled to make ends meet prior to the public health emergency.  In this exceptionally challenging time, one of the few sources of stability has been the child care subsidy program. The program supports nearly half of the District’s child care programs to some degree, all of whom serve families facing significant barriers to opportunity because of racism or economic marginalization. Throughout the pandemic, the Office of the State Superintendent - which oversees the child care subsidy program - has continued paying participants set rates meant to mirror their usual payments. These continued payments have played an important role in trying to stabilize the child care sector over the past months as costs to care for infants and toddlers within important, but stringent, CDC and DC Health and safety guidelines have, in some cases, doubled or tripled.

Yesterday, at Mayor Muriel Bowser's National Maternal and Infant Health Summit, DC Action for Children moderated a panel featuring four amazing young parents.

As part of the District’s coronavirus (COVID-19) recovery efforts, the DC Child Care Provider Relief Fund will provide $5 million in emergency operational funding to local child care facilities. Relief funds will be granted to all licensed District child care providers to ensure a supply of child care for families during the public health emergency and recovery period. This effort is being led by the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) and the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE). The Washington Area Community Investment Fund (WACIF) is partnering to handle intake and disperse program funds.

Last week, several DC communities were traumatized by another shooting of a young Black man. This time it was fatal. This time by the hands of the Metropolitan Police Department. ENOUGH! We are sickened and outraged by this violence. We mourn with the family of Deon Kay, and the communities who love him. We mourn with the children, youth, and communities who are once again traumatized by violence, which will have a lifelong impact.