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District of Columbia

Educare DC and DC Action for Children lead key early childhood coalitions and work in tandem to advocate for the DC Council to fund its signature Birth to Three early childhood initiative and improve compensation for the early childhood workforce in the District. As a direct service provider, Educare DC is able to provide on-the-ground insight into how policies impact individual children and families. They use their voice and the power of the network of Educare schools to advocate for quality early care and education.

State Allies:

DC Action for Children • Washington, DC
Educare Washington, DC • Washington, DC
Top Priorities for 2021

Support sustained funding for the Birth to Three Act and identify viable funding streams to more fully fund the law. (Educare DC)

Protect and maintain recent investments in strengthening the early childhood education (ECE) system in DC. (Educare DC)

Push for quality and affordability in ECE, including support for increased pay, training, and respect for the ECE workforce. (Educare DC)

Explore options for creating a Home Visiting Training Institute in the District of Columbia. (DC Action for Children)

Identify viable revenue stream that can fully fund the Birth to Three for All DC Act of 2018. (DC Action for Children)

Convene policy leaders to work with OSSE on a fair and equitable process to increase compensation of the early learning workforce, and ensure the process is not a burden to educators of color, or educators in family child care settings. (DC Action for Children)

Identify opportunities for expanded support for prenatal support, special education, and early intervention services, with focus on families experiencing systemic racial discrimination and poverty. (Educare DC)

Protect funding for the District’s home visiting programs by elevating the intrinsic value of the home visitor relationship with families in times of crisis. (DC Action for Children)

The District’s 2020 Early Childhood Policy Landscape and Progress:

Estimated FY20 District General Fund Expenditures

Mayor (D), City Council (D)

22,324 Young Children (0-8) are Below 200% FPL

D.C.’s policy and budget landscape was contentious in 2020. In immediate response to the pandemic, advocates collaborated closely to pursue a #JustRecoveryDC that preserved and enhanced supports for marginalized D.C. residents, from early childhood, to P-12 education, to housing, to homelessness.

D.C. experienced severe budget shortfalls in the wake of COVID-19, which required a quick pivot in the allies’ approach. DC Action and Educare DC worked to embed support for infants and toddlers in the District’s early childhood system by focusing their advocacy on local government’s executive and legislative branches. Together and with other early care and education stakeholders in D.C. (including providers, families, policy and advocacy organizations, and others), the advocacy resulted in several advancements.

*Early childhood policy progress in the district is the result of numerous efforts — by those listed on this page and many others — who worked both independently and collaboratively to achieve wins for young children.

More from DC:

Download the full 50-State report.

The Alliance for Early Success 2020 50-State Progress Report on Early Childhood Policy expands state data (disaggregating low-income young children by race) and provides high-level state policy trend analysis for the nation as a whole. Click the cover to go to the download page.

State Budget Data: National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO), “Table 4: Fiscal 2020 State General Fund, Estimated (Millions); The Fiscal Survey of the States.” Spring, 2020
Low-Income Data (including disaggregation by race): National Center for Children in Poverty, “NCCP Analysis of ACS 1-year Estimates—Public Use Microdata Sample, 2019.”
State Action Data: Provided by state advocates, October-November 2020, with analysis and synthesis by Frontera Strategy for Alliance for Early Success, “Protecting Progress and Investing in Scale: The 2020 50-State Progress Report on Early Childhood Education Policy.”
Additional State Actions: Mincic, Melissa,  Early Care and Education, State Budget Actions, Fiscal Year 2020. National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), October 2020. 
The Alliance for Early Success is achieving large-scale, long-lasting change for the state’s young children by providing our allies with powerful advantages that help them shape early childhood policy for the District of Columbia.

Strategic, Outcomes-Focused Investments

Consulting and Strategy

Technical Support from National Expertise

Rapid Response Support

Connections/Access to Allies in Similar States

Roles in National Communities of Practice