For Immediate Release:  June 26, 2018
Contact: Rita D. Lewis, Communications Director , 202-256-7154

DC Council Passes Landmark Birth-to-Three for All DC Act of 2018

Washington, DC –  Today, Councilmember Robert White celebrated the final Council vote on the Birth-to-Three for All DC Act of 2018 , a major victory for early childhood education. The bill includes the provisions from Councilmember White's BEGIn Act, which was inspired by his daughter, Madison.

Specifically, the bill increases the available city funding for early childhood development providers, improves the pay system for child development educators, and creates new government positions to help providers obtain or renew a child development facility license. The bill also strengthens pre- and post-natal support for District mothers.

By age three, 85% of a child's core brain has developed. Deficits in cognitive development for children in poverty are apparent by age two, making infant and toddler programs one of the most critical investments the District can make . Dr. James J. Heckman, a Nobel Prize winning economist, conducted groundbreaking research that found investments in early childhood education can help address poor health, crime, school dropout rates, and poverty. Councilmember White believes that significant investments in early childhood education is the biggest step we can take to close our persistent and stubborn academic achievement gap. 

White said, "As a father, I learned first-hand how expensive and difficult it is to find high-quality early education programs and decided to make it one of my top priorities while on the Council." White added that he is excited to see the increasing momentum locally and nationally for the most critical missing piece of our education system, early childhood development.