Working for just,

equitable, and quality

early childhood education and 

care for every young child.

March 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 is excited to announce the expansion of our National Advisory Board to 24 National Advisors. These advisors bring a wealth of professional expertise, passion, energy, and ideas to DEY and will be a valuable resource for our organization. With their support and connections to local, national, and international resources, DEY can enhance our work and better serve our community. We invite you to read more about our National Advisors on our website and stay tuned for brief welcoming introduction videos.

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DEY Advisory Board Member

Edgar Klugman

Sept. 15, 1925-Feb. 10, 2024

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Edgar Klugman, a member of DEY's Advisory Board. Dr. Klugman passed away on February 10, 2024, leaving behind a legacy of dedication and excellence in early childhood education. His contributions to DEY will be greatly missed, and we extend our deepest sympathies to his family and loved ones during this difficult time.

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DEY Banned Book Club Feature

We are excited to share the latest episode from our Banned Book Club! Our newest feature comes from Michele Hemingway Pullen sharing the book “Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness.” Michele was awarded a DEY mini-grant (read more below) to provide 106 copies of this book to educators and organize a visit with the author, Anastasia Higginbotham. 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

How Did We Get Uncurious Kids? Listen to DEY's ED Denisha Jones on Teacher Tom's Podcast

Click here to listen

Join a DEY Regional Working Group Today

Have you heard that we are launching six regional working groups?

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Do you live or work in Massachusetts, Kentucky, California, the Greater Chicago Area, Tennessee, or New Hampshire?

Apply to join a working group 


Don't see a Working Group in your area? Stay tuned as we hope to launch more groups in the future.

Summer Institute Sponsors Needed!

Do you know of an organization that would be interested in sponsoring the DEY Summer Institute?

DEY is seeking organizational sponsorship to ensure that our 6th Annual Summer Institute is offered to hundreds of teachers at no cost. Our three-day annual event provides early childhood educators with the opportunity to learn from a variety of policy experts, teachers, researchers, and advocates.

You can help us identify organization sponsors by providing contact information, making an introduction, and sharing our sponsorship package. Please email and let us know how you can help!

Mini-Grant Update and Newest Recipients

Anastasia Higginbotham, Author of "Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness", Conducts "Solutionary" Workshop

The Proposal and Results: My proposal requested funds to be able to share complementary copies of Not My Idea: A Book about Whiteness by Anastasia Higginbotham. Jefferson Community and Technical College Office of Belonging and Inclusion generously agreed to bring the author and illustrator, Anastasia Higginbotham, to our campus on 10 November 2023.

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Congratulations to our recent Mini-Grant Award Winners

  • Candy Hall, Childcare Resource & Referral, Kimberly, WI

  • Windham Raymond School Age Child Care, Inc., Windham, ME.

Our next deadline to apply is 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

Edgar 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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