Grant Period:

Grant Type:
General Support

Other Funders:
Bainum Family Foundation, DC Early Childhood Innovation Network

100,000 per year for 2 years

Washington, District of Columbia, United States

Focus Area:
D.C. Metro Region


SPACEs in Action helps people step into their power through leadership, training, grassroots organizing and by creating safe spaces for people to learn and grow.


SIA plays a central role in multiple DC coalitions, including the Under3DC Campaign and the Early Learning Collaborative. Other partners include the DC Association for the Education of Young People, the Early Childhood Innovation Network, DC Family Child Care Association, Educare Washington DC, Jews United for Justice, and Parent Watch.

More Information

Social Media:


LaDon Love
Executive Director
ECFC Favicon

Project Summary

This grant will support SPACES in Action (SIA) to organize parents and providers and make their voices part of the solution to economic hardship among childcare providers, with a focus on home- based child care providers. SIA is part of a citywide campaign that secured passage of the Birth to Three for All Act of 2018 which authorized a comprehensive prenatal to age three approach to health, mental health, and child care services, including competitive compensation for early educators. To implement this Act, SIA and other advocates continue to work to raise public investment.

This project will enable SIA’s Early Learning Committee to deepen their investment in the pursuit of equity through expansion of stories of impact, collaborative creation of community-centered solutions, Leadership Academy sessions, education of decision makers, and membership in DC coalitions and associations. By highlighting the voices and stories of low- income workers, early learning educators of color, and families who depend on subsidy to make child care work, SIA will work to build the voice of early learning educators, make their issues the center of debate, and make their demands the solution.

SIA will also provide Leadership Academy sessions to build skills which will help move campaigns forward and develop the individual capacity of SIA leaders. The trainings will include the following topics: how to craft and tell stories, implicit bias and how to recognize your own, active listening, politics 101 who represents you and your power, holding decision makers accountable using the technique of birddogging, one to one relational meetings to build a base, and understanding the Birth to Three for all law and how it impacts DC families, as well as any topics developed based on need and the current political climate.

SIA will create spaces for early educators and family child care providers to be heard by city officials and play leadership roles in the citywide coalitions that the organization helps to lead. This will meetings with decision makers who manage agencies and DC council members, as well as social media strategies.

Selected Action Steps Related to RCCF Goals

Lift parent, child care teacher, home-based child care provider, caregiver and ally voices and increase their participation in crafting policy solutions in states and/or communities.

  • Recruit poor and working-class parents and early learning educators and family childcare providers to SIA’s Early Learning Committee.
  • Engage parents and early educators in the Under 3 DC campaign and other groups aligned with early learning and the social and emotional wellbeing of families raising babies and toddlers in DC.
  • Create materials about the campaign for early learning equity and health access in English, Spanish, and Amharic.

Build effective coordination among RCCF grantees and advocacy groups, community groups, parents, child care teachers, home-based child care providers, caregivers, and allies.

  • Build a parent/provider lead committee that pursues equity for all DC children–this will include joint and segmented work based on need.
  • Build a table that includes health professionals that will focus on social, emotional and wellbeing of families raising children three and under in DC.
  • Investigate strategies in other states and with RCCF grantees to win hazard pay or additional compensation for the educator workforce.

Expand financial resources to secure increased and equitable access to quality child care, including through intentional strategies to reach and prioritize children and families most affected by injustice and inequity.

  • Ensure money allocated in FY2021 DC budget for Birth to Three programs is used appropriately, and that make the case for significant additional resources in FY2022.
  • Use FY2020 to track how programs are being administered through the experiences of the families that use them.
  • Build a base that will educate policy makers on the importance of increasing resources for implementation of the Birth to Three for All law.

Updated April 20, 2021

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