Under 3 DC gets ready to share ideas for a FY21 budget that cares for DC’s littlest residents
WASHINGTON, DC – February 18, 2020 – Under 3 DC, a broad coalition of parents, early educators, advocates, community and business leaders, gets ready to create the most forward-reaching early childhood campaign in the nation by asking Mayor Bowser to invest $41.5 million, less than 1% of DC’s $15 billion budget, into making high-quality, child care affordable for District families. The objective is clear: care for DC’s littlest residents by improving the quality of childhood education infants and toddlers receive as well as building a skilled, experienced, and fairly compensated early education workforce.
“Our babies and toddlers begin learning the moment they are born. These are some of the most formative years of their lives and access to early care and learning provided by skilled professionals is critical,” said Kimberly Perry, Executive Director of DC Action for Children and Co-Chair of Under 3 DC. “Equity can and must begin at birth. We owe it to DC families to make the kinds of bold changes needed to interrupt generations of racial and socio-economic inequality.”
Right now, quality early childhood education in DC is expensive and scarce. The average cost of child care in DC is $2,020 per month or $24,243 a year, and there are not enough vouchers available for parents needing financial support.
Furthermore, many child care educators are not paid enough to afford child care for their own children. In DC, non-preschool child care workers have to spend more than half of their annual income to pay for center-based infant care. These workers are overwhelmingly women of color. The low pay for these positions is a significant part of why there is not enough early childhood care available for the families who need it.
DC’s growing child care movement, spearheaded by women and people of color, is organizing residents to speak up. They’ll share their realities with each other and city leaders during the upcoming FY 21 budget forums taking place on February 18, 20, and 22.
About Under 3 DC
Under 3 DC, a broad based coalition in the District of Columbia, harnesses the voices and power of parents with young children, early educators, advocates, and health professionals to create transformative social change. The Coalition’s efforts center on the people experiencing racial and economic injustice every day. It shines a spotlight on the need for more public investments to support families with infants and toddlers. Together, we can set the city on a path to creating and sustaining a high quality, equitable early childhood system. For more information about Under 3 DC, please visit under3dc.org or connect with us on Twitter and Facebook.