DEY Takes a Look Back at 2022 and a Preview of What’s in Store for 2023

As we embark on another year, we are excited to continue advocating for a just and equitable early childhood education for all children. We are proud of our accomplishments over the past 11 years and hope to expand our services and opportunities for supporting educators, families, and advocates. Before we share our plans for 2023, we want to review some of the highlights from 2022. 

Launched the DEY Podcast

Can you believe it’s been a year since we launched the DEY Podcast with Kisha Reid? We hope you have enjoyed Kisha’s fantastic conversations with Suzanne Axlesson, Peter Gray, Mr. Chazz, Deb Curtis, Carol Garbdon-Murray, Rae Pica, and many more! Look for the newest podcast episode later this month, and catch up on any missed episodes here!

Hosted the 4th Annual Summer Institute 

Though initially conceived of a yearly in-person gathering of like-minded early childhood educators and advocates, we pivoted the annual summer institute to a virtual platform in the wake of COVID-19. This made the institute more accessible, which led to over 600 people registering for the three-day event. If you missed any of the 2022 virtual institute discussions, you can watch them here.

Awarded Seven Mini-Grants Totaling $3500

DEY is pleased to offer $500 mini-grants to support projects connected to our mission. Last year, one of our mini-grant recipients succeeded in ending out-of-school suspension for children in North Carolina. Other grants have funded community play events in Kenya and Maryland, a play-based parent/teacher library, and equitable access to nature play. You can read more about our mini-grant recipients and apply here. Our next application deadline is March 1st! 

Welcomed Our First Executive Director and Director of Communication and Outreach

Thanks to our donors’ generous contributions, we welcomed Denisha Jones as our Executive Director and Kisha Reid as our Director of Communications and Outreach. Long-time friends of DEY, Denisha, and Kisha are poised to take our efforts to the next level! 

The DEY Podcast with Kisha Reid

Day 1 panel for DEY 2022 Summer InstituteDay 2 panelists of the 2022 DEY Summer Institute

DEY Mini-grants

Sneak Peak 2023 and Beyond

Up Next: DEY Advocacy Campaign

Though we technically shared the launch in December, the campaign goes live once we share our sign-on statement in the next few weeks. Our inaugural campaign, In Defense of Early Care and Education, aims to support early childhood educators and advocates in restoring the link between high quality and child development. We know how to care for young children and support their development, but that knowledge is often dismissed or ignored by those who pedal corporate reforms in the false pursuit of high quality through rigor and accountability. Through this campaign, we urge you to join us as we build a movement to resist policies, practices, and curricula that are not aligned with principles of child development. Join the campaign today!

Save the Date: DEY 5th Annual Virtual Summer Institute 

Mark your calendars for the DEY 5th Annual Virtual Summer Institute, June 26-28, 2023. We are excited to announce this year’s theme is What Works: Learning from Early Childhood Educators, Advocates, and Researchers. Check out our 2023 Summer Institute Page for more information, and be on the lookout for early bird registration and speaker announcements coming soon!

Coming Soon: DEY Professional Learning Institute 

Are you looking for professional development opportunities from real early childhood professionals? Then the DEY Professional Learning Institute is for you! The DEY PLI will offer professional learning experiences to early childhood professionals, including child caregivers, preschool teachers, public school educators, administrators, and advocates. We plan to offer a mix of in-person, online synchronous & asynchronous workshops, webinars, and courses. Our goal is to offer scholarships to reduce the cost of attendance to ensure that everyone has access to these powerful and engaging sessions. Attendees will receive a certificate of attendance, and we hope to offer CEUs in the future.    

In Preparation: Research Into Practice Network 

We believe in the power of early childhood research to improve our practice as early childhood professionals. Unfortunately, most of that research is stored in journals and textbooks and remains out of reach for those who need it the most. DEY seeks to bridge the gap by creating a Research into Practice Network that provides educators and advocates with opportunities to implement research findings in their practice.  Last November, we delivered our first Research into Practice session at the NAEYC conference in DC. Dr. Dale Farran from Vanderbilt presented the findings from the Tennessee Pre-K study that demonstrate how a focus on academics in preschool can lead to adverse academic and behavioral outcomes, and Kisha Reid shared her approach to supporting children’s natural development through play. Look for more Research into Practice sessions and an invitation to join this new network!  

Stay Tuned: Protecting Childhood Initiative 

We are on a mission to Protect Childhood, and we hope you will join us as Protector of Childhood. Through this initiative, we will share alerts and actions, position statements, fact sheets, and other resources that create a clear vision for early childhood policies and practices that center the whole child and protect childhood. We aim to develop grassroots partnerships with other supporters to strategize our efforts to center children and their childhood as our most valuable resource.  

We look forward to working with you as we embark on these and other ambitious endeavors! We are a community of early care and education advocates who are louder and stronger together! 




Have you seen our Advocacy Map? If you know of an early childhood advocacy organization or legislation, please submit it today.

Are you concerned about the direction that education policy is going? Please consider donating to support DEY’s important work advocating for appropriate education for young children.