Under 3 DC Coalition

The early years of a child’s life are an amazing period of development. In fact, the first three years shape every year after. That's why we work alongside parents, early childhood educators, and advocates to create a strong, stable, and equitable early education sector in the District of Columbia.
Under 3 DC Coalition logo
Coalition Contact
Contact Name: Vanessa Lopez

Who We Are

Under 3 DC is a broad coalition of parents with young children, early childhood educators, advocates, community-based organizations, and health professionals who believe every child deserves a strong start and a limitless future. Our work centers 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.

In 2020, we launched the Under 3 DC Coalition to advocate for full funding and implementation of the Birth-to-Three For All DC Act. The Coalition involves and mobilizes people and groups across the District of Columbia with diverse perspectives, including parents, educators, civic leaders, leaders from different demographic groups, businesses, and congregations. The Coalition is led by an executive committee made up of majority women-led, and people of color-led organizations: DC Action, DC Early Learning Collaborative, DC Fiscal Policy Institute, Early Childhood Innovation Network, Jews United for Justice, and SPACEs in Action.

Why Birth-to-Three for All DC Matters

In 2018, the District of Columbia enacted the Birth-to-Three For All DC Act, intended to create a comprehensive system of services for infants and toddlers and their families. Birth-to-Three For All DC established wages for early educators comparable to those in the K-12 system, stipulated that no family would spend more than 10% of their income on child care, and supported home visiting and a variety of health and mental health-related services. The Act is a key element of addressing the city’s deep racial and economic inequities.

Get Involved

To join the Under 3 DC Coalition, contact Campaign Manager Vanessa Lopez at vlopez@dckids.org.

  • Testimony of Audrey Kasselman, Policy Analyst, before the Committee on Housing

    April 9, 2024
    Budget and Legislative Advocacy Early Childhood

    Councilmember White, members of the Committee on Housing, and staff, thank you for the opportunity to submit written testimony. My name is Audrey Kasselman and I am a resident of Ward 1. I am the E...

    Testimony
  • Testimony of Travis Ballie, Under 3 DC Organizing Director, before the Committee on Business and Economic Development

    April 8, 2024
    Budget and Legislative Advocacy Early Childhood

    Good morning Chairperson McDuffie, councilmembers, and staff of the Committee on Business and Economic Development. My name is Travis Ballie, and I am the Organizing Director at DC Action. I am her...

    Testimony
  • Testimony of Ruqiyyah Anbar-Shaheen, Director, Early Childhood, before OSSE

    April 4, 2024
    Budget and Legislative Advocacy Early Childhood

    Good afternoon, Chairperson Mendelson. Thank you for the opportunity to address you today. My name is Ruqiyyah Anbar-Shaheen and I am Director of Early Childhood for DC Action, member of Under 3 DC...

    Testimony