DEY logo
May 2019 Update
DEY works for 
a just, equitable, and quality 
early childhood education 
for every 
young child.

Senior Advisors
Nancy Carlsson-Paige
Diane Levin

Geralyn Bywater  McLaughlin 
Blakely Bundy

Director of Early Childhood Organizing
Denisha Jones

Director of Communications and Social Media
Gina Contursi

National Advisory Board
Sherry Cleary
Bill Crain
Stephanie Feeney
Doris Pronin Fromberg 
Ayla Gavins
Michelle Gunderson
Marcy Guddemi
Denisha Jones
Ed Klugman 
Deborah Meier
Ruth Rodriguez-Ray
James St. Clair
Judith Van Hoorne
Founding National Advisory Board 
Constance Kamii
Lilian Katz
Maurice Sykes

Visit us on the web: 



Calling all ECE Leaders!
  Calling all Play Defenders!
  Calling all Protectors of Childhood!
Are you ready to develop your advocacy skills or to take them to the next level? Do you want to make your voice heard to lawmakers and policy experts? If so then please join Defending the Early Years at our first Early Childhood Organizing Summer Institute July 7-10 in Washington DC. 
The Institute, which will be held at the Easton Hotel, will bring together 20-25 early childhood educators and advocates from across the country. The institute will provide early childhood advocates with the opportunity to learn various organizing skills, identify threats to the early childhood profession, network with other early childhood leaders, and develop a platform for protecting childhood that is centered on racial and social justice. 

More information including links to register and hotel booking can be found here: 
For additional information, email DEY Director of Early Childhood Organizing Denisha Jones at:
Spanish Translation Now Available

DEY's report Young Children in the Digital Age: A Guide for Parents, written by Nancy Carlsson-Paige, Ed.D., is now available in Spanish.  To access, click the image below:

DEY Continues to Speak Out Against "Online Preschool" 

To the dismay  of Defending the Early Years and other early childhood advocates, the latest trend sweeping the country appears to be "online preschool," sometimes replacing traditional preschool. Advocates of online preschool tout its low cost as compared to brick-and-mortar preschools with well-trained and well-paid teachers.  They also declare that it's a way to reach children in remote areas.  But we know that screen-based lessons cannot begin to replace appropriate preschool where children interact with teachers and peers and learn through hands-on experiences.  Further, we are concerned that by offering online preschool primarily to low-income children, we will further exacerbate educational inequality.

The trend began in Utah in 2015 with the introduction of Waterford's UPSTART online program.  Currently, at least eight states offer some kind of online preschool program.

In April, 2019, the Audacious Project, housed at TED, nominated Waterford UPSTART to receive millions of dollars in funding.   Later that month, the North Carolina legislature considered a bill to establish an online preschool pilot program throughout the state. 

DEY, often collaborating with our colleagues at Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood (CCFC), has responded to these threats to appropriate preschool.  Find our responses here.  

Help us fight the online preschool trend! Tell your state education committee to reject online preschool and fund the REAL universal preschool that all kids need and deserve! This link will send your message directly to your state's education committee: 

 Enjoy DEY's Newest 
Mini-Documentary in the 
"Teachers Speak Out" Series
In this mini-documentary, early childhood educator
Kisha Reid expertly describes how play-based environments spark creativity and are crucial for the developing brain. Watch her students at work and see what is right in early childhood education today.

Defending the Early Years
DEY is a non-profit organization,
 currently seeking 501(c)3 tax-exempt status.