Center for American Progress
The benefits of a high-quality early education last a lifetime. Yet today, zip code, race, or income often limit the opportunities of our youngest residents. Throughout DC, vital early childhood services and programs remain inaccessible to families that need them most. And, the COVID-19 pandemic makes everything even worse. As a community, we must do more to reduce these racial and economic inequities.
Only 8% of DC families can afford $2,020, the average monthly cost of infant child care
DC has 27,157 infants and toddlers under the age of 3
DC may lose 6,500 child care slots due to COVID-19 without significant public funding
The early years of a child’s life are a wondrous and amazing period of development. In fact, the first three years shape every year after. And every family needs help when they have an infant or toddler. Together, we can make sure DC remains an attractive place to live, to work, and to raise a family.
Infant & Toddler Support Systems
Program coordination is strained in African American and Latinx communities.
Child Care Deserts
More than 1 in 4 DC families live in areas with no or few child care options.
Unaffordable Child Care
Child care costs for an infant are over $20,000 a year in nearly every corner of the District.
The success of the Birth-to-Three Act truly affects every family in DC. Even under usual conditions, early childhood care and education operates on tight financial margins. And now, the COVID-19 pandemic is placing these essential services at further risk. Let’s surround all of our youngest children and their families with a well-coordinated system of care and support, so they can flourish.
Without significant financial support, many of the District’s child care providers may need to shut their doors permanently. This would devastate families already suffering because of the public health crisis and create a cascading effect throughout the city. The shuttering of child care facilities prevents parents from getting back to work and diminishes our already limited supply of child care, raising program costs and spurring displacement of young families. We must not let this happen.
Health & Development
Access to health, mental health, and early child development supports for all DC families
Access to high-quality, affordable child care for every DC family
Better support for DC parents and early childhood educators to become financially secure