Playdates for Affordable Childcare: D.C. Families, Make Your Voices Heard!

Dear D.C. parents,

As we all know, D.C. has one of the most unaffordable childcare systems in the nation. Let’s work together to change that!

The D.C. Council is considering groundbreaking legislation to expand access to childcare in D.C. We need your input on the bill and the state of childcare in D.C.!

Please review the bill (or the summary, below) and join us for one of the Universal Childcare Now – D.C. Coalition’s upcoming policy playdates. (RSVP Here!)

At the roundtables, you will get a breakdown of upcoming childcare legislation and have the opportunity to write letters to Councilmembers about your childcare needs in D.C. We will also be painting onesies to send to members.

So let’s make it a playdate! Tell us what you think in person — and bring your children. We’ll have food, juice boxes, kid-friendly space, and lots to talk about.

Roundtable One:
August 5th, 10:30 am-12:00 pm, Tenley-Friendship Neighborhood Library

Roundtable Two:
August 14, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm, Petworth Library

Roundtable Three:
August 26th, 10:30 am-12:00 pm, Anacostia Library

Roundtable Four:
Sept 2nd, 10:30 am-12:00 pm, Shaw Library

Roundtable Five:
Sept 9th, 10:30 am-12:00 pm, Lamond-Riggs Library

Summary of the Bolstering Early Growth Investment Amendment Act:

  • Increase childcare subsidy payments for providers
  • Establish a program that allows child development facilities to share services
  • Establish an Infant and Toddler Educator Compensation Task Force
  • Expand the duties of the Early Childhood Development Coordinating Council to review reimbursement rates, expand child development resources in low-income communities, and reassess existing facility regulations
  • Establish an Office of Early Childhood Development to operate the facility licensing process for child development providers, and offer guidance surrounding regulations, financing, and training
  • Provide tax incentives for property owners to dedicate space to child development facilities
  • Establish a grant program to help providers enhance their facilities

We’re Back (although we never really left)!

It’s been nearly two years since we asked D.C. parents to fill out surveys about their childcare experiences. More than 600 people answered. The overwhelming majority of D.C. parents — across quadrants and cultures and income levels — believe the childcare system in this city is broken.

Finally, we have a shot at legislative action.

Members of the Universal Childcare Now – D.C. Coalition have worked diligently over the last two years to build support for our cause. We’ve been featured in the news. We have given testimony at city hall. We’ve met with mayoral staff and members of the D.C. Council. We have mobilized and engaged parents, held meetings in libraries and coffee shops across the city, and bolstered a unified movement.

On June 27, Councilmember Robert White introduced the Bolstering Early Growth Investment Amendment Act of 2017 (or BEGIn Act), which would (in the Councilmember’s words) “drastically expand access to early childhood development programs for families across the District of Columbia.” Mayor Muriel Bowser, for her part, is promoting childcare expansion initiatives of her own. And back in January, Councilmember David Grosso introduced the “District of Columbia Child Development Facilities Expansion Amendment Act of 2017.”

There is real change going on in D.C.’s policy environment surrounding childcare. We’re gearing up to take advantage of our hard-won momentum and push hard for legislative and budgetary victories surrounding childcare access in the months going forward. Thank you for being a part of the movement. We’ll keep updating this page with legislative developments and calls for action.

Stay tuned!