Following its December release of a powerful new report that details the obstacles facing infants and children in the District of Columbia, the Bainum Family Foundation has taken two additional steps as part of its five-year, $10 million commitment to improve early childhood across the District.

bainumTo ensure that early childhood needs in the District are identified and addressed in a collaborative and cohesive manner, the Foundation has launched a Birth-to-Three Policy Alliance that involves leading children’s policy, advocacy and service organizations. The Alliance will focus on increasing access to quality, comprehensive early childhood services and other supports for infants and toddlers and their families in DC, and ensuring that health, education, early learning, and human services systems work in a coordinated fashion to improve outcomes for young children.

“We are partnering with organizations that understand how the first few years shape a child’s life and that share our commitment to achieving meaningful policy reforms and service improvements for D.C.’s most vulnerable children,” said Rozita Green, Chief Strategy Officer at the Bainum Family Foundation. “We’re committed to leading this effort, and we believe the District’s success in expanding health care and pre-K shows D.C. can improve the odds for infants and toddlers, if policymakers make them a priority.”

In addition, the Foundation has made initial grants totaling $600,000 to a dozen organizations that will be part of the new Alliance. Grant recipients include:

  • American Academy of Pediatrics, DC Chapter
  • Children’s Hospital Foundation — Early Childhood Innovation Network
  • Children’s Law Center
  • DC Action
  • DC Appleseed Center
  • DC Fiscal Policy Institute (at the Center for Budget Policy Priorities)
  • DC Head Start Association (UPO)
  • Early Learning Collaborative
  • Empower DC
  • Georgetown University Medical Center — Early Childhood Innovation Network
  • Raise DC
  • Universal Child Care Coalition

The Foundation will invest a total of $3.5 million over the next six months to support early learning in the District. This includes funding for the expansion of quality early learning opportunities as well as wrap-around support and services that help children succeed.

“Our goal is to produce a dramatic increase in the level of support for infants and toddlers across the District,” said Green. “We want to build an integrated approach that helps children in every aspect of their lives – in the classroom, in the community and at home. These initial investments — and the projects they fund — will help to establish a solid foundation for our efforts.”