On Wednesday, September 27, the Foundation joined nearly a dozen members of the Birth-to-Three Policy Alliance to support two bills currently before the DC Council: the Infant and Toddler Development Health Services Act of 2017 and the Bolstering Early Growth Investment Amendment Act of 2017. The actions and investments proposed in these bills would make important improvements in the lives of vulnerable infants and toddlers and their families in the District of Columbia.
Testifying on behalf of the Foundation, I stressed the need for the District take a comprehensive, systems approach to improve the capacity of both the health and early learning systems in our community. Our testimony also encouraged the Council to take specific action to address child care reimbursement rates and compensation for the early childhood workforce, and ensure that our health system addresses families’ health needs and social determinants of health.
These bills complement each other, and if merged where possible, could model systems-building and effective collaboration while eliminating the inefficiency and confusion of implementing two similar laws. As a city that invests in children and families and has led on critical issues such as universal pre-kindergarten for 3- and 4-year-olds, the District is well-positioned to lead on these issues as well. We look forward to working with the Health, Education, and Finance and Revenue committees and the overall DC Council to identify and implement the best solutions.