DC Kids Count

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. 

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. 

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. 

Even in 2020, Black and brown residents in the District earn less money and do not have equal access to quality medical care, child care, and education. Women-led household income consistently lags behind couple-led households and even single-male led households. Black youth are over-policed and at higher risk for suicide than white youth. These statistics are undeniable affirmations of the failure of “color-blind” policies, which instead cement a legacy of systemic racism. We believe this data must be used as a starting point for innovative and equitable solutions that will transform our city.

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

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.

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. 

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.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created many barriers and interruptions to out-of-school time programming. As a result, service providers have been forced to pivot to virtual learning platforms to continue to serve youth.  Providers were uncertain about what to expect and how to tailor their programs to meet the current challenges. 

We hosted the 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) Virtual Town Hall with OSSE last Wednesday, July 1st to provide further clarity and a space for providers to ask questions and seek guidance. We had a great turnout with over 35 participants, which sent a strong message about the importance of this conversation and the need for more clarity from OSSE.