Working for just,

equitable, and quality

early childhood education and 

care for every young child.

April 2024 Update

Donate to Support Our Work
Defending the Early Years, Inc. is a
501(c)(3) charitable organization.
Donations are tax deductible.
Our Tax ID: 82-4308558
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DEY Announces 6th Annual Summer Institute Speakers

Join us on June 24-26 for our 6th Annual Virtual Summer Institute: Advancing Quality in Defense of Early Childhood Education and Care. We are thrilled to announce some of our lineup of distinguished speakers who will share their expertise and insights during this three-day event. Stay tuned for the finalized schedule, and get ready for an enriching experience!

Register Today

National Advisor News

Check out what our DEY 

National Advisors are up to! 

Peter Rawitsch's “Call Them Before You Decide”

I am the Co-Founder of Love Our Children NC. Our goal is to keep 5, 6, and 7-year-olds learning in school by ending exclusionary discipline. Tonight, I sang a song I wrote to the New Hanover County (NC) Board of Education about revising Short-Term-Suspension Policy 4251. We want Principals to call K-2 parents before a determination is made to suspend a 5, 6, or 7-year-old child from school. Under the current policy, Principals call a parent after they have suspended their child.

Blog from Bill Crain

Some Special Qualities of Early Childhood By William Crain

My wife Ellen and I were recently in a restaurant when a toddler came marching down the aisle. The girl was smiling broadly, taking great pleasure in walking and exploring. But her mother, who was following after her, wasn't so enthusiastic. When the two reached our table, the mother said, "She's usually so well-behaved.

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That Early Childhood Nerd Podcast

DEY National Advisor Heather Bernt-Santly hosts That Early Childhood Nerd Podcast and speaks with DEY National Advisor Carol Garboden Murray and other guests.

Click here to listen

DEY Banned Book Club Feature

DEY National Advisor and family child care provider Melinda Marshall features Neither by Airlie Anderson for our April Banned Book Club. "Neither is a simple picture book showing children that inclusion is a good thing."

DEY launched the Banned Book Club to resist the attempts to deny children the opportunity to learn from diverse books. Each month, we will feature a banned early childhood book that we encourage you to read to the children in your life. If you are interested in joining our Banned Book Club and promoting a banned book, email

DEY Survey on Quality in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC)

In preparation for our 6th Annual Summer Institute: Advancing Quality: In Defense of Early Childhood Education and Care, we are conducting a survey to gather insights on quality in early childhood education and care (ECEC).

We seek input from early childhood teachers, directors, providers, and parents to understand their perspectives on quality and how it influences their work and children. We invite participation from individuals across all ECEC settings.

The survey will be open from April 1st to May 4th and will take approximately 20-25 minutes to complete. Your input is invaluable in advancing quality in early childhood education and care.

Please take our survey today and share the recruitment graphic below with your networks!

Take Our Quality Survey

Check Out Our Honor an Educator Fundraiser

Thank you to everyone who contributed to our Honor an Educator fundraiser. Check out our Honor an Educator webpage to view the honorees and donate today!

Visit our Honor an Educator page

Mini-Grant Update and Newest Recipients

St. Aloysius Secondary School's Worker Development For Teachers of Refugee Children

We are very grateful for the funds ($500.00) you gave to St Aloysius Secondary Workers Development Association to organize a training to help young children of refugees be ready for school, encourage their imagination, and help them with literacy and numeracy skills. Thanks.

Project Name:


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Apply for a DEY Mini-Grant by June 1st!

Our Leadership

Board of Directors

Nancy Carlsson-Paige

Founder and Senior Advisor

Diane Levin

Founder and Senior Advisor

Blakely Bundy


Geralyn Bywater


Executive Director

Denisha Jones

Project Coordinator

Zoe Kim

Founding National Advisory Board 

Constance Kamii

Lilian Katz

Maurice Sykes

Sherry Cleary

Doris Pronin Fromberg 

Deborah Meier

Edward Klugman

DEY National Advisors

Suzanne Axelsson*

Heather Bernt-Santy*

Samuel Broaden*

Takiema Bunche Smith*

Erika Christakis

Bill Crain

Rixa Evershed*

Dale Farran*

Carol Garboden-Murray*

Laleña Garcia*

Michelle Gunderson

Tom Hobson*

Nadia Jaboneta*

Susan Linn

Melinda Marshall*

Kisa Marx*

Peter Rawitsch*

Kisha Reid*

Rukia Rodgers*

Ruth Rodriguez-Fay

Kaliris Yimar Salas-Ramirez*

James St. Clair

Judith Van Hoorn

Dodah Yirusha*

* New Advisor

Defending the Early Years, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.
Donations are tax deductible. Our Tax ID: 82-4308558
Support Our Work
Defending the Early Years

Follow DEY for the latest updates.
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