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Under 3 DC Press Release: DC Council Votes in Favor of Early Childhood Educators

Budget Vote Ensures Compensation Increase for Early Educators

August 3, 2021—Today, the DC Council approved the 2022 fiscal year budget that includes local funding to increase compensation for thousands of early childhood educators. Through a small tax increase on DC’s wealthiest residents, educators in early learning settings will finally see raises that begin to reflect the vital work they do, and the essential role they play in the lives of young children and families in our beloved city. This vote was especially critical for those working in historically under-resourced communities.

Ruqiyyah Anbar-Shaheen, Under 3 DC Coalition Director, said, “All credit for this ‘win’ goes to the early learning professionals, parents, and advocates who have been tireless advocates during this very long and unpredictable budget season. All of their phone calls, emails, testimonies, videos, and actions made this possible. There is truly power in united voices.”

The local measure approved today by Council includes roughly

  • $53M towards increasing wages to educators in fiscal year 2022

  • over $70 million annually beginning in fiscal year 2023

Anbar-Shaheen continued, “This vote marks a significant step toward making the District’s early childhood system more equitable, affordable, and accessible for all District families and educators.”

The Council’s final budget vote, which will focus on authorizing language, takes place on Tuesday, August 10.


Under 3 DC harnesses the voices and power of the District’s parents with young children, early educators, and community-based organizations to shine a spotlight on the need for more public investments in early education and health programs for infants and toddlers. Together, we can set the District of Columbia on a path to creating and sustaining a high-quality, equitable early childhood system.

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