Two dozen young people across the District can start their new school year knowing they’re making a difference to their communities as Census Youth Ambassadors. DC Action for Children created a Youth Census Ambassador Internship to foster knowledge and appreciation for data among young people. We invited Mikva Challenge DC and The Black Swan Academy to partner with us and offer paid internships to their youth program participants.

Everyone needs fuel to keep fighting for change. DC Action for Children staff will be sharing books, movies, podcasts, and other media that inspire, energize, and motivate us to do the work.

We can all agree that this year's budget season was like no other. To remind you, Mayor Bowser presented her budget on May 18th and the DC Council began their public hearings later that week to respond, assess, weigh in, seek public input, debate, modify and finalize the city’s moral document that will guide spending for the next year, during one of the most challenging times in history. The final budget was completed in late July, signed by Mayor Bowser and sent to Capitol Hill for its required 30-day review period

This week, we are ALL beginning a challenging start to the first week of school–students, parents, teachers, administrators, and advocates! 

On August 26th, we hosted a Virtual Town Hall to discuss the District's coordination of care across the age continuum in the midst of a virtual learning environment.  More than 100 attendees participated, making it clear this is of critical importance for families and the programs that serve them.  

The COVID-19 pandemic is dramatically changing how DC out-of-school time and early child care programs will operate during the new school year. 

Washington, DC (August 6)—DC Action for Children is partnering with Black Swan Academy and Mikva Challenge DC during August to sponsor census internships for District youth to conduct text-banking and outreach in their communities. Like numerous other localities across the country, the District of Columbia faces the prospect of having a severe undercount of its residents with a delayed, and now shortened, census season. An accurate, complete census is vital for the District’s children, youth, and local democracy. Census data determines the distribution of $6 billion in federal funding to the District every year, including $400 million for children in areas such as healthcare, WIC, child care, and public schools.

In recent weeks and months, early educators and parents raised the alarm about the need to stabilize the child care industry to help pave the way for a healthy recovery for children, families and educators. In response to our - YOUR - growing pressure, the DC Council approved $5 million in emergency child care grant funding for 2020. While this was needed – and certainly worth celebrating – it is only half of the Under 3 DC request for this year.

Without any public debate, the DC Council is rushing a last-minute deal to cut $18 million in funding for programs and services that help those hit hardest by COVID-19. Further diminishing vital programs during a pandemic and doing so behind closed doors - at a time when there are serious unmet needs is reckless and immoral. The DC Council is debating this decision right now, and they could vote on it as early as tonight.

We are pleased to announce the release of the 2019 Annual Report of the District of Columbia Home Visiting Council. While we are midway through a tumultuous 2020, and at the end of an unusually long budget season, this report provides an opportunity to reflect on the important work that home visiting programs do to support families, even when a pandemic is not raging.