The UPDATE | October 14, 2021

The UPDATE | October 14, 2021

Early Education: Equitable Compensation Task Force Gets to Work

Remember the nearly $75 million we all collectively recently raised for the Birth-to-Three law to fairly pay our early educators? Well, now it’s time for implementation!

The DC Council has created an Early Educator Equitable Compensation Task Force which will begin meeting this week. The group is charged with developing a compensation scale and payment mechanism for early educators. working across child care settings.

The task force will ensure that funds budgeted for educator compensation will be allocated fairly and equitably. The District has more to do to achieve our goal of parity between early educator and PK-12 educator compensation, but this is an important first step.

The task force includes DC Action leadership and several members of the Under 3 DC Coalition, including providers, policy experts, philanthropists, academics, and government officials. Members include:

Early Educators

  • Cynthia Davis, Owner, Kings and Queens Child Care Center and DC Family Child Care Association

  • Dr. Marla Dean, CEO, Bright Beginnings

  • Sally D’Italia, Director, Arnold and Porter Children’s Center and Co-chair, Director’s Exchange

  • Cristina Encinas, Director of Education, Estrellitas Montessori School and President of the Multicultural Spanish Speaking Providers Association

  • Kathy Hollowell-Makle, Executive Director, DC Association for the Education of Young Children

  • Kellie Salley, Early Educator


  • Ruqiyyah Anbar-Shaheen, Director of Early Childhood Education, DC Action

  • Michael Madowitz, Senior Economist, Joint Economic Committee

  • Anne Robinson, General Counsel and Director of Policy, Building Pathways

  • Wallrick Williams, Partner, Boston Consulting Group


  • Marica Cox-Mitchell, Senior Director, Early Childhood, Bainum Family Foundation


  • Dr. Taryn Morrissey, Associate Professor Department of Public Administration and Policy, School of Public Affairs, American University

DC Government

  • Sara Mead, Assistant Superintendent of Education, OSSE


Voting and Democracy

Our local election season is getting underway in the District, and the Fair Elections Act of 2018 has changed the way we elect our leaders--putting voters--not big donors--first. The majority of candidates running for office in the District are participating in the publicly funded Fair Elections program, promoting a more inclusive democracy that will help deliver better policy results for kids, youth and families.

It’s never too early to register to vote or check your voter registration status!

Youth Health and Safety

Coalition member, SMYAL, is opening a new Clinical Services Department in the District to provide free mental health counseling to LGBTQIA+ youth ages 6 to 24. The program, housed in SMYAL’s Eastern Market office, will offer culturally competent, bilingual, and affirming group and individual therapy and supportive services to help young people address trauma, stress, and risky behaviors. According to SMYAL, “LGBTQ youth are overwhelmingly disproportionately at-risk for experiencing anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, and homelessness, negative coping mechanisms such as drug and alcohol use, or disengagement from school or social supports compared to their cis-straight peers.” These challenges can be compounded by intersectional identity, the isolation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and ongoing violence in our community.

Read, Watch, and Listen


Public Policy and Advocacy for Grantmakers by Sara Watson, with Lori McClung, is a new publication from the Council on Foundations. According to the Council, the booklet "provides a roadmap for how foundations can advance their mission and goals by participating in public policy advocacy.” Public Policy and Advocacy for Grantmakers is available for download on the Council on Foundations website for free for members and $59 for non-members.


Our colleagues at the DC Fiscal Policy Institute will present DC Budget Briefing: Achieving Big Wins for Tax and Racial Equity on Thursday, October 21 from noon to 1pm. The free webinar will feature DCFPI Executive Director Erica Williams and Analysts Eliana Golding and Qubilah Huddleston discussing what is included in the FY22 budget and what still needs to be done to achieve a #JustRecovery for the District. Register by October 20 online or by calling Heather at 202-886-5212.


The question “Is Child Care a Public Responsibility?” was the subject of a recent episode of The New York Times’ podcast The Daily. Now 19 months into the pandemic, it’s common knowledge that a functional early childhood education sector is integral to a successful society and a working economy. What hasn’t been agreed on, however, is how to solve continuing child care challenges--for educators and families. Listen here.