Response to the DC Council’s Final Vote on Fiscal Year 2025 Budget

Press Statement
For Immediate Release: June 12th, 2024

WASHINGTON (June 12, 2024)—”Under 3 DC is grateful to see DC Council Chair Phil Mendelson and DC Councilmembers reverse Mayor Bowser’s elimination of the Early Childhood Educator Pay Equity Fund by restoring $70 million in funding to the program for the 2025 fiscal year. The District of Columbia’s early learning community is comforted in knowing the DC Council recognizes how vital the program is for child care, and going from zero dollars to where they landed was no small feat, especially in such a challenging budget year. However, some fundamental challenges lie ahead for early childhood educators. Pay cuts are still likely to be on the table, along with a potential pause on HealthCare4ChildCare enrollment this fall because of next year’s $17 million funding gap (OSSE will spend $87 million this fiscal year). We look forward to working with members of the DC Council and OSSE in the upcoming months and future budget years to ensure that the Pay Equity Fund is designed, funded, and implemented to meet the needs of our educators and meet the goal of pay parity with DC Public School teachers..

The DC Council-sanctioned Early Childhood Educator Pay Equity Fund Task Force is now responsible for recommending changes to the Fund that will ensure the program is as fair and efficient as possible to reduce spending while minimizing harmful impacts on educator salaries and benefits. 

Not to be forgotten is the Child Care Subsidy program that did not see the DC Council restore the $10 million Mayor Bowser slashed from its budget. In a region where working families from across all income levels depend on child care, this funding reduction will slow the progress the District is making toward ensuring more families have access to high-quality, affordable child care.” 

###

About DC Action

DC Action is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization making the District of Columbia a place where all kids grow up safe, resilient, powerful and heard. DC Action uses research, data, and a racial equity lens to break down barriers that stand in the way of all kids reaching their full potential. Our collaborative advocacy campaigns bring the power of young people and all residents to raise their voices to create change.

Under 3 DC

Under 3 DC harnesses the voices and power of District families with young children, early educators, health professionals and community-based organizations to shine a spotlight on the need for more public investments in early education and health programs for infants and toddlers. Together, we can set the District of Columbia on a path to creating and sustaining a high-quality, equitable early childhood system. For more information, visit www.under3dc.org.