There are only three questions that drive the National Black Child Development Institute’s public policy agenda:


  1. Is this good for Black children and families? 

  2. If yes, how can we support it? 

  3. If not, how can we make it better?


The answers to these questions help us achieve our mission of improving and advancing the quality of life for Black children and families.  As we collaborate with our Affiliates and national partners, we have chosen to focus on the particular strengths and needs of Black children and families in the context of a shared goal: ensuring that all children are reading proficiently by the end of 3rd grade.

NBCDI has chosen to adopt this objective in response to data demonstrating both the critical nature of this educational benchmark and the devastating performance of Black children, only 15 percent of whom are reading proficiently in 4th grade .  This goal also leads us to focus on each of the years from birth through age eight, which together provide the foundation for all subsequent learning and development.

NBCDI has identified three priority areas, for which we engage in a range of program, policy and advocacy activities at the federal, state and local levels:


  • Empowering Parents, Engaging Communities

  • Improving Childcare and Teacher Quality 

  • Ensuring Funding and Resource Equity

To successfully advance these priorities, NBCDI and the BCDI Affiliates are also committed to leadership development that builds a stronger, more diverse network to help our leaders and elected officials make positive, supportive and equitable funding and policy decisions that affect Black children, families and communities.  With support from the Alliance for Early Success, we are supporting specific work in Jackson, MS; Detroit, MI; and Milwaukee, WI to strengthen the advocacy engagement and impact of our Affiliates on behalf of Black families and their children birth through age 8.  


Please review our recommendations and comments on our Resources page.  If you have questions about NBCDI's policy work or would like to get involved, please sign up for our policy alerts or email Lauren Hogan, NBCDI's Director of Public Policy and Research at lhogan@nbcdi.org.