DC Action in the News

DC Action Media Contact: Tawana Jacobs││301-325-8687


July 25, 2023

Washington City Paper: Child Care Workers Say They're Getting Shortchanged by the District on Salaries. It's Part of a Pattern of Broken Promises.

The District has made major progress in recent years to improve the generally horrid pay rates for these educators, but workers and advocates alike feel that the city has once again fallen short in its efforts to ensure adequate compensation for this essential work.

@AlexKomaWCP tweet

July 18, 2023

WUSA9: Is child care more expensive in Washington, DC more than anywhere else in the US?

 A recent report is causing a lot of local parents to shake their heads, in equal parts disbelief and agreement.

It says Washington D.C. has the most expensive childcare in the country by a wide margin.

It is not the first report to suggest that the cost of living is relatively high in the nation's capital, but few other measures show such a large gap between prices in D.C. and anyplace else.

July 16, 2023

WTOP: Survey: DC is the most expensive place in the country for child care

The pandemic has driven up costs for a lot of things including childcare. And it’s a big problem in the District.

June 26, 2023

AFRO: DC ranks as the most expensive place for child care in the US

A new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation found that Washington D.C. is the most expensive place in the country for child care. 

May 18, 2023

PRESS RELEASE: DC Action to Honor Champions for Children and Youth  

DC Action will honor the DC Early Learning Collaborative (DCELC) with its first-ever legacy award at the Renaissance Awards on Tuesday, May 23, 2023, from 5:30-8:00 pm at the Martin Luther King Library, and celebrate the advocacy of two early childhood educators, a home visitor, a youth champion, and an up-and-coming youth leader.

May 11, 2023

Washington City Paper: Progressives Want to Stop a Planned Tax Break for Big Land Deals to Reverse Bowser’s Budget Cuts

Mat Hanson, chief of staff for the advocacy group DC Action and one of the architects of the plan, believes this move would raise about $78.3 million in revenue next year and could add another $25.8 million this year. The city’s economists expect that many property owners are delaying the completion of major deals until the tax hike sunsets, and delaying that expiration cut could speed up their timelines if the don’t want to wait around for another year.

April 21, 2023

The DC Line: Nisa Hussain: Home visitors are stuck in same situation as the families they work to uplift

Chances are that if you ask a policymaker to describe the District of Columbia’s early childhood system, most will talk at length about the essentialness of child care. This is especially likely during a budget debate when there are proposed cuts on the table, as is currently the case for fiscal year 2024. However, another key early childhood service — home visiting — also deserves their attention, respect and funding as District families with young children find themselves squeezed by inflation, rising rents and higher food costs. 

April 18, 2023

The AFRO: Is D.C. moving closer to recreational equity with next year’s budget?

The current spotlight on public safety in the District–especially when violent crime seems to involve youth so often–is a clear reminder of the need for more community spaces where children and youth can engage in constructive activities outside school hours. 

April 18, 2023

Washington City Paper: Progressives Fear Business Interests Have Dominated a Key Tax Policy Group Guiding Future Budgets

April 11, 2023

Stronger Start is a five-part series produced by DCTV about building a better early childhood education system in the District of Columbia. DC Action’s Director of Early Childhood Education Ruqiyyah Anbar-Shaheen is featured in the first episode, which is available to watch online.

April 5, 2023

Of the 419 witnesses for the 12-hour DC Council education hearing (including nearly 100 from the early learning and OST communities),  a member of Under 3 DC was quoted in Proposed cuts to D.C. school budget draw big crowd at marathon hearing - The Washington Post

Out-of-School Time Providers Organize for Budget Enhancements - The Washington Informer

March 14, 2023

WAMU: D.C. is giving preschool teachers a pay bump. Here's how it's making a difference to them

This spring marks the one year anniversary of the D.C. Council passing a law to boost pay for the District’s early childhood teachers. The Pay Equity Fund taxes the District’s highest earners, and sends an annual bonus payment of up to $14,000 to teachers of children between 0 and 5 years old in preschools and daycares in the District. 

January 25, 2023 

The Washington Post Opinion. Kim Perry’s letter to the editor is the second letter on the page, directly underneath the letter from William Evans. 

January 18, 2023

WUSA: DC children propose solutions to violence at 'Youth Summit' 

This is one of many local, national, and international news stories about the Youth Summit.

January 18, 2023

American University: On the Road: AU's Humanities Truck | American University, Washington, D.C.

November 15, 2022

The Progressive: We Can't Fix Youth Homelessness Without Better Services

While every young person’s story is unique, when they enter the youth homelessness system they need financial stability the most. Under the best of circumstances, it can be hard to find a job with growth potential and benefits and an affordable place to live. In D.C., rent has increased dramatically, along with inflation, while wages have not nearly kept up.

 October 18, 2022

Washington Post: Letter to the Editor - Fixing child care won't be easy

I was excited to read the editorial about child care until I realized it ignored the historic work happening in D.C. Rather than wait on federal money to save child care, the D.C. Council approved a modest tax increase on the city’s highest-income residents to fund a permanent compensation increase for early-childhood educators, including health benefits.

October 13, 2022

Washington Blade: Casa Ruby is closed. What happens to homeless youth now? 

Imagine being 17 years old without a parent or guardian or a permanent place to call home when housing costs are soaring, and high inflation is driving up the cost of food and other necessities. When well-educated, financially stable Washingtonians are tightening their financial belts because of the uncertainty, it is a frightening time to be trying to figure things out on the District’s streets. 

September 23, 2022

WTOP: Can proposed DC law help speed up hiring process in schools?

After volunteer groups reported long delays in getting cleared to work with D.C. Public School students last winter, city officials announced plans to work with a new vendor starting Nov. 1, 2021. However, months later, the delays have persisted. Now, the D.C. Council is getting involved. 

September 21, 2022

Washington Informer: Convoluted Background Check Process Becomes Focus of the 2022-2023 School Year

Throughout the pandemic, more than 60 organizations affiliated with DC Action’s Out-of-School Time Coalition engaged District leaders in dialogue about these issues. By last December, when the COVID surge forced several schools to shutter...

September 20, 2022

The 19th: Washington, D.C., offers financial relief to local child care workers

After navigating uncertainty and stress as a child care worker during the pandemic, Yesenia Vargas finally can see a bright spot. She has received $14,000 as part of Washington, D.C.,’s Pay Equity Fund for early childhood educators. 

September 12, 2022

DC Kids Count News Release:  New Data Reveals District Children and Youth Carry Heavy Loads Into the New School Year

Recent results from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) test shows how brutal the pandemic has been on kids. Their well-being is at stake. The newly updated DC Kids Count data looks at how kids in the District are faring by using demographic, economic justice, health and safety, and early childhood measures across the city and in each of the eight wards. 

August 8, 2022

PRESS RELEASE: DC Lags Behind Maryland and Virginia in Child Well-Being 

23% of DC children are in families below the poverty line compared to 12% in Maryland, 13% in Virginia, and 17% nationall

July 13, 2022

NPR: Bonus checks! One year free! How states are trying to fix a broken child care system

Child care provider Damaris Mejia is about to get the biggest pay raise of her life, starting this summer: the District of Columbia will send her and her co-teachers each a big check, between $10,000 and $14,000.

July 8, 2022

AXIOS: D.C. is the most expensive place in the U.S. for child care

As the cost of child care rises, a survey found that the District is the most expensive place in the country to hire a nanny and to send a kid to daycare.

May 12, 2022

Washingtonian: What’s Behind the Surge in Youth-Involved Carjacking?

Experts say it's complicated—but look at pandemic trauma, programming cuts, and crime fads.

May 11, 2022

PRESS RELEASE: DC Youth Programs See More Stabilization With First DC Council Budget Vote

Today’s first DC Council budget vote on the 2023 fiscal year budget is an improvement on current fiscal funding for Out-of-School Time (OST) programs. The combined investments of $22.4 million moves the District one small step closer to fully funding affordable, high-quality afterschool programs for all youth. 

May 3, 2022

PRESS RELEASE: DC Action Receives $375K Donation to Deepen Work with District Youth

Today, Attorney General Karl Racine’s office announced that it is redirecting a $750,000 settlement recouped from its lawsuit against the Trump Organization and its Inaugural Committee for misspending nonprofit funds to two nonpartisan District nonprofits, DC Action and Mikva Challenge. Both work to increase youth civic engagement. 

May 2, 2022

The New York Times: ‘I Honestly Believe It’s a Game’: Why Carjacking Is on the Rise Among Teens

The crime has made a resurgence across the country over the past two years, and many of those arrested are startlingly young.

April 22, 2022

Washington Post: D.C. background check delays means fewer tutors in schools, groups say

The District’s slow background check process is preventing critical tutoring and after school programs from operating at full-capacity, according to multiple education nonprofit leaders, who say they have prospective employees and volunteers waiting months for clearance to enter school buildings.

April 13, 2022

NEWS RELEASE: Most District of Columbia Parents Say Afterschool Programs Provide the Social, Developmental, Mental Health Supports Many Students Need Now

Most District of Columbia parents see afterschool programs as part of the solution to the social and mental health struggles so many students are experiencing right now, with 7 in 8 saying these programs give students time to engage with peers and reduce unproductive screen time, and 8 in 10 saying they help build confidence.

April 13, 2022

DC Line: Kimberly Perry: We should invest in communities, not double down on tough-on-crime policies

District leaders say they understand how difficult the past two years of the COVID-19 pandemic have been for District residents, especially the Black and brown families who have borne the brunt. 

March 14, 2022

The Washington Informer: Early Care and Education is a Business Necessity

What happens to children during their earliest years is a business issue.  Early educators are as essential to businesses as IT, HR, or sales staff.

March 11, 2022

FAST COMPANY: This is how we fix the broken childcare system

It’s time to stop treating childcare like a bespoke gym membership and recognize it for the public good it is, say advocates. Here, several solutions to fix a sector in crisis.

March 11, 2022

WUSA9: Census undercounted Black, Latino populations; impact on DC yet to be seen

The U.S. Census revealed on Thursday that it likely undercounted communities of color across the United States. Now, some locals are worried about what impact that will have on the D.C. region.

March 3, 2022

The Washington Informer: Throwing Away Criminal Youth Is Not the Solution

March 1, 2022

The New York Times: Why Carjacking Is on the Rise Among Teens in America

The crime has made a resurgence across the country over the past two years, and many of those arrested are startlingly young.

February 18, 2022

FRAC Chat: Black History Month: Six Champions Fighting to #EndHungerNow in America

In recognition of Black History Month, we want to highlight six public figures who advocate to eradicate hunger in America. Advocates include Members of Congress sponsoring and introducing legislation, as well as leaders in nonprofit advocacy organizations.

February 2, 2022

WASHINGTON INFORMER: D.C. Students Voice Demands for More Mental Health Services

As District officials and residents continue to debate how best to address violent crime, young people have increased their demands for measures that holistically address their mental and emotional trauma.

February 2, 2022

Washington City Paper: Early Childhood Educators Get a Raise

The D.C. Council voted unanimously to invest tax dollars from D.C.’s wealthiest to help early child care workers achieve pay equity with public elementary school teachers this year.

February 2, 2022

Business Insider: D.C. childcare workers will get up to $14,000 to help fix the domino effect causing the Great Resignation: No childcare options for working parents

Childcare workers in Washington, D.C. are about to get a sizable bonus, which comes as thousands leave the industry in search of better pay, leaving working parents in a bind. 

February 2, 2022

The Hill: DC Council votes to send $10,000 checks to day care workers

Thousands of day care workers in Washington, D.C., will receive checks for at least $10,000 following a vote by the city council.

February 2, 2022

CBS News: D.C. will give early educators $10,000 checks to reflect their "skill" and "worth"

Thousands of early-childhood educators in Washington, D.C., will receive checks of at least $10,000 from their local government, after the city council voted in favor of the measure Tuesday. 

February 2, 2022

Democracy Now: D.C. City Council Will Send Checks to Daycare Workers to Make Up for Low Pay

In the nation’s capital, the D.C. City Council voted unanimously to redirect tax revenue from the area’s wealthiest residents to daycare workers.

February 2, 2022

WDVM: D.C. early educators get a pay increase

Early childhood teachers in Washington, D.C., will get a boost in their pay.

February 1, 2022

Axios: D.C. will send $10,000 checks to child care workers

Child care workers in Washington, D.C. will receive checks for at least $10,000, after the city's council approved a measure to redirect tax revenues from the city's wealthiest residents to the child care workers, the Washington Post reports.

February 1, 2022

Washington Post: D.C. government will send $10,000 checks to the city’s day-care workers

Thousands of day-care workers in Washington will get personal checks from the D.C. government for at least $10,000, after the D.C. Council voted unanimously Tuesday to redirect tax dollars from the city’s richest residents to child-care workers, who legislators say they believe are underpaid.

February 1, 2022

WTOP: DC lawmakers pass early child care workers bill

D.C. lawmakers have passed a bill to raise the wages of those who care for the District’s youngest residents.

February 1, 2022

PRESS RELEASE: DC Council Votes to Boost Pay of Early Educators

Today, the DC Council voted to boost the pay of early childhood educators in the District of Columbia! The vote, which took place during the council’s legislative meeting, will give educators an additional $10-$14,000, depending on their teaching role. The legislation approved today is based on the January recommendations of the council-sponsored Early Educator Equitable Compensation Task Force

February 1, 2022

WASHINGTON INFORMER: DC daycare workers to receive $10,000 checks

Thousands of daycare workers in Washington, D.C., are set to receive checks of at least $10,000 after the city council passed a measure reallocating tax dollars from the richest residents to those who work in childcare.

January 27, 2022

ABC7: DC activists push for more funding for rental assistance programs as inflation rises

“We need roughly $200 million, to meet the needs of tens of thousands of families from across the District,” said D.C. Action Chief of Staff Matthew Hanson.

January 19, 2022

WASHINGTON INFORMER: COVID Spike Has After-School Programs Demanding Better Collaboration with Partners

As District public and public charter schools continue to solidify COVID-19 mitigation strategies in the new year, several out-of-schooltime partners continue to demand that school leaders maintain communication and transparency about cases to ensure the safety of volunteers that conduct after-school programming.

January 19, 2022

WAMU/DCist: D.C. Could Take First Steps To Increase Child Care Worker Pay

Thousands of child care workers across D.C. could receive additional pay this year worth up to $14,000. This is part of a longstanding plan to gradually increase salaries among educators who care for infants and toddlers — and who currently only make slightly more than minimum wage.

January 17, 2022

WPFW: A Just Recovery for DC Families

Kimberly Perry, Executive Director of DC Action, talks with reporter Sue Goodwin about how recovery from the coronavirus pandemic must correct historic wrongs against families and children in Washington, DC.

January 12, 2022

WASHINGTON INFORMER: Deadline Extended for Task Force to Determine Compensation for Early Childhood Educators: D.C. Council Approves Change of Date to April for Group’s Final Recommendations

“By the end of the task force, we would have produced recommendations that will start an early educator compensation program. There’s nothing like that in the country,” said Ruqiyyah Anbar-Shaheen, a task force member and director of the DC Under 3 coalition, which advocated for the Birth-to-Three for All DC Act’s funding last budget season.

January 3, 2022

STATEMENT: Extension of the Early Childhood Educator Taskforce’s Timeline

The DC Council will vote on emergency legislation to extend the timeline for the Early Childhood Educator Compensation Task Force to complete its work to immediately increase teacher pay and overhaul the District’s compensation system. Under 3 DC Director Ruqiyyah Anbar-Shaheen is releasing the following statement about this crucial DC Council vote.

October 26, 2021

PRESS RELEASE: DC Action Honors District Champions for Children and Youth: Shining Stars in Early Education, Youth Development, Health, and Youth Leadership

Last week, DC Action shined a light on five extraordinary Black women who are making a difference in the lives of thousands of District families during its inaugural Fall Reception and Awards Ceremony. By way of the merger of DC Action for Children and DC Alliance of Youth Advocates, DC Action, a newly created entity, honored community leaders on the front lines in early education, youth development, health, and youth leadership. The gathering celebrated the honorees for their advocacy to improve the lives of young people, from cradle to career.

October 21, 2021

WTOP: ‘It is depriving students’: After delays vetting DC schools’ volunteers, new vendor could speed process

Ryllie Danylko, a policy analyst at DC Action for Children, said if there have been delays in the past, they weren’t extensive. The DC Out-of-School Time Coalition, organized through DC Action, represents 60 organizations that provide after school and summer programs to kids across all eight wards.

July 20, 2021

PRESS RELEASE: DC Council Takes Major Step Toward Funding Landmark Early Learning System

Today, the DC Council took the first big step toward funding Birth-to-Three for All, the District’s landmark early learning legislation. Councilmember Charles Allen introduced a budget amendment to the Committee of the Whole at today’s meeting that would fund early educator compensation increases and support other public good programs. Eight out of 13 councilmembers voted to pass the amendment, which raises revenue with a 3% personal tax increase on DC’s highest earners. This was the Council’s first vote on the FY2022 budget.

July 19, 2021

DC Line: Erica Williams and Kimberly Perry: By balancing the tax code, we can fund a just recovery

Equity requires both raising enough revenue to meet the needs of all our residents and doing so in a way that’s based on people’s ability to pay. Right now in the District, a nurse making just over $60,000 a year pays the same top income tax rate as a corporate lobbyist making up to $350,000 a year. That’s just not right, and it’s time to level the playing field. Balancing the tax code could raise millions to invest in crucial areas like affordable housing and high-quality affordable child care and make our tax code more equitable.

July 14, 2021

DCist: ‘This Is A Huge Deal’: New Child Tax Credit Payments To Start Going Out To Families In D.C. Region

“This is a huge deal, especially for working families in the District,” says Mat Hanson, chief of staff at D.C. Action for Kids. “And there is a really strong racial equity component to it, because we know that the majority of the families that are going to benefit from this are Black and brown, and particularly for Black families. About half of Black households with children reported having lost some employment income since the pandemic hit.”

July 11, 2021

Washington Post: Day care is expensive in D.C. Some say the city should spend millions more subsidizing it.

“There’s no real business model of child care, because child care is torn between what parents can pay . . . and what it costs to provide high-quality care and education, which is very expensive,” said Ruqiyyah Anbar-Shaheen, who leads the Under 3 DC Coalition, which calls for the city to spend more to subsidize care for infants and toddlers. “It’s a system we rely on economically and a system we rely on socially — we just have to start seeing those public investments.”

June 22, 2021

DCist: 80% Of D.C. Voters Polled Support Higher Local Taxes On The Rich

A large majority of D.C. voters support raising taxes on big corporations and higher-income residents to help bankroll the city’s recovery and other goals.

That’s according to the results of a new poll sponsored by two advocacy organizations: the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute and DC Action. The results show broad support for more progressive taxation across various demographic groups, including age, education level, gender, race, and ward. This holds true even in the city’s most affluent wards, which would generally absorb the brunt of more progressive tax rates.

April 22, 2021

DC Line: Kimberly Perry: Critical investments are essential to protect the District’s future

Our city — our entire society — has reached a decision point. As we begin to emerge from the worst public health crisis in a century and we grapple with the undeniable epidemic of racial injustice, we must choose how to move forward. Our children cannot afford for us to return to “normal.”

March 10, 2021

WAMU/NPR: Listen: Youth Advocates Call For Holistic Solutions To Stem Increase In Local Carjackings

D.C. witnessed a surge in carjackings during 2020. Officials reported 350 incidents of grand theft auto — double the number in recent years. Officials noticed that some suspects charged in these cases were teenagers, or even younger. Kimberly Perry, director of D.C. Action for Children, tells us about the root causes of this alarming trend and programs aimed at helping at-risk youth.

February 25, 2021

Wall Street Journal: Washington, D.C., Police Fight a Rise in Carjackings and Blame Covid-19

During the pandemic, police officers in Washington, D.C., started noticing a rise in a crime that alarmed them: teenagers forcibly stealing occupied cars and often going for joy rides.

February 17, 2021

The Nation: In Some States, Child Care Workers Won’t Get the Covid Vaccine for Months

In D.C., LaQuandra S. Nesbitt, the director of the city’s department of health, explained in a letter to child care advocates that it had chosen “to vaccinate a large percentage of our in-person public school workforce,” which would allow it “to expand the critical societal function of in-person school.”

January 27, 2021

DC Line: Sally D’Italia: DC COVID-19 vaccine plan intentionally leaves child care educators behind

As an early childhood educator in DC, I thought I would be eligible to sign up for a COVID-19 vaccine this week. It’s a promise Mayor Muriel Bowser made earlier this month. Early childhood educators have been working to keep their centers open and operating during most of the pandemic, so we expected the day to come without delay. But we were misinformed.

January 27, 2021

Washington Informer: Early Child Care Educators Among Those Lamenting Slow COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout

With Term 3 of the academic year scheduled to start next week, teachers across the District remain in a race to get the highly coveted but scarce coronavirus vaccine.

For early childhood educators, this endeavor has been even more of a struggle as the D.C. Department of Health [DOH] and the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) haven’t included them in the vaccination schedule, despite their essential worker designation.

January 26, 2021

Washington City Paper: Child Care Providers to Get Vaccinated in February

Looks like child care providers will start getting vaccinated in February. The news comes as a relief for members of the early care and education community, many of whom have been working in-person for months. 

January 25, 2021

WPFW: WPFW’s To Heal DC: DC Early Educators Fight for COVID Vaccine Access

DC Early Learning Collaborative Chief Strategy Officer Sia Barbara Kamara Ferguson, Washington Association of Child Care Centers President Jeff Credit, DC Directors Exchange Co-Chair Sally D’Italia, and Under 3 DC’s Tawana Jacobs joined To Heal DC hosts Joni Eisenberg and Chuck Hicks to discuss the necessity to vaccinate the District’s early educators at the same time as other DC teachers.

December 9, 2020

WAMU: D.C. To Cut Funding For Homeless Services As Coronavirus Cases Surge

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s administration is pulling back funding from local nonprofits that serve residents experiencing homelessness, DCist/WAMU has learned. The funding cuts could force some of the affected nonprofits to shrink their programs, from day centers to street outreach, lay off or stop hiring staff and pare down on supplies that support their work.