December 2023 Update

Working for a just,

equitable, and quality

early childhood education 

for every young child.

Donate to Support Our Work
Defending the Early Years, Inc. is a
501(c)(3) charitable organization.
Donations are tax deductible.
Our Tax ID: 82-4308558
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DEY Launches Regional Childhood Defenders Working Group

DEY is excited to announce the launch of our Regional Childhood Defenders Working Groups, aimed at bringing together early childhood educators, advocates, and parents to promote our advocacy campaign. These groups will serve as a platform for local coalitions to work together to build awareness, educate elected officials, and support guidelines and implementation requirements that restore the link between high quality and child development. As a national nonprofit organization, DEY is committed to supporting local advocates in their efforts to create change at the state and local levels. We invite you to apply to join a group or serve as a co-facilitator and help us make a difference in the lives of young children.

Co-Facilitator Application
Member Application

Watch Big Business Takeover of Childhood: A Conversation with Susan Linn

Did you miss our webinar with Susan Linn? Well, be sure to check out the recording (click image below)! Susan Linn discussed her new book, Who's Raising the Kids: Big Tech, Big Business, and the Lives of Children, with DEY Executive Director Denisha Jones. Susan Linn is a renowned psychologist and advocates for children's well-being, and her book offers a compelling analysis of the ways in which technology and commercialism are influencing the lives of young people.

End of the Year Donations Matched!

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Advocating for Educational Equity with DEY ED Denisha Jones

In the latest episode of Conscious Pathways, Brittney Carey sits down with Dr. Denisha Jones to discuss the powerful book Black Lives Matter at School, which she co-edited. Dr. Jones, Executive Director of Defending the Early Years and a passionate advocate for education justice, draws from her experience as a former kindergarten teacher, preschool director, and teacher educator to highlight the importance of early education in addressing educational equity. They also delve into the imperative for teacher preparation programs to equip educators with the necessary tools to support diverse classrooms effectively. With her wealth of insights into dismantling the neoliberal assault on public education, Dr. Jones, offers a thought-provoking conversation that is not to be missed. Tune in to Conscious Pathways to learn more.

DEY Podcast with Kisha Reid Returns in January!

Season 2 of the DEY Podcast with Kisha Reid has come to a close, and this season featured incredible guests such as Teacher Tom, Melinda Marshall, Rukia Rogers, and many more, each sharing their unique perspectives on early childhood education. We want to know, which guest was your favorite? Let us know in the comments! 

We also want to share that Season 3 of the DEY Podcast with Kisha Reid will premiere in January 2024. We can't wait to bring you even more inspiring conversations and insights from leaders in the field. In the meantime, check out Season 2, Episode 18 with Kisa Marx, available now on all major podcast platforms. Thank you for your continued support of the DEY Podcast with Kisha Reid!

Click here to listen

Mini Grant Update and Newest Recipients

The Somerville Community Growing Center, Somerville MA

The Somerville Community Growing Center, in Somerville, MA is a place for people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities to gather, learn, and celebrate in nature, together building a welcoming, accessible, and thriving community.

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Congratulations to our latest mini-grant recipients. Our next round of applications closes on March 1st.

  • Sarah Moline of Bloomington Public Schools Early Learning Services, Bloomington, MN
  • Audrey Debri of Cedar Springs Public Schools in Cedar Springs, MI.
  • Amanda Flayer and Mya Smith of Puerta Abierta School in Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala
  • Ann Gascon of Early Childhood Professionals Organization, Wichita, KS

Our Leadership

Board of Directors

Nancy Carlsson-Paige

Founder and Senior Advisor

Diane Levin

Founder and Senior Advisor

Blakely Bundy

Board Member

Geralyn Bywater


Executive Director

Denisha Jones


Host of the DEY Podcast

Kisha Reid

Project Coordinator

Zoe Kim

National Advisory Board
Erika Christakis
Sherry Cleary
Bill Crain
Doris Pronin Fromberg 
Michelle Gunderson
Ed Klugman 
Susan Linn
Deborah Meier
Ruth Rodriguez-Fay
James St. Clair
Judith Van Hoorn

Founding National Advisory Board 
Constance Kamii
Lilian Katz
Maurice Sykes
Defending the Early Years, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.
Donations are tax deductible. Our Tax ID: 82-4308558
Support Our Work
Defending the Early Years

Follow DEY for the latest updates.
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