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FAQs

How do I locate a child development center for my child?

Looking for an early childhood education provider! This might be one of the most important decisions your family will ever make. It is now known that the first few years of life are critical in laying the foundation for future success in school and life. It is important to select an early childhood education provider that will keep your child safe, healthy, and learning! With the many different options for care, this decision might feel overwhelming. We are here to help you to make the best choice for your family!

My Child Care DC is a user friendly website that will help you identify a list of licensed child care providers in DC that meet your specific criteria.  View profiles of local licensed child care providers to find what is available. Use what is most important to you about your child’s care to determine your choices, such as type of care, age of child, location, services needed and more. For more support, you can contact a Child Care Referral Specialist at (202) 829-2500 or email osse.dcchildcareconnections@dc.gov

How can I get a DC child care subsidy voucher for child care?

The District of Columbia operates a child care assistance program that helps eligible families who live in DC pay for child care.  The Child Care Subsidy Program (Child Care Voucher Program) offers families a wide range of child care options.  You can call the DHS Child Care Services Center at 202-727-0284.

How do I become a licensed childcare provider?

Whether you are currently caring for children, or thinking about caring for children in the future it is imperative that you apply for a license. Licensing, ensures that all young children are provided with safe and secure facilities and set the baseline for what has to legally be provided while serving young children. There are three kinds of child care programs that need licenses:

  • child development centers;
  • Child development homes, also called family child care homes, which care for up to six children in the provider’s home; and
  • Expanded child development homes, which care for between six to 12 children.

Visit OSSE Division of Early Learning’s licensing page to learn more.

How can I learn about how children develop?

A child’s brain undergoes an amazing period of development from birth to three—producing more than a million neural connections each second. The development of the brain is influenced by many factors, including a child’s relationships, experiences and environment. Understanding the phases of development can help parents and early childhood education providers, provide the best care for young children. Below are a few resources to help understand your child’s growth and development.

 

Centers for Disease Control Skills such as taking a first step, smiling for the first time, and waving “bye bye” are called developmental milestones. Children reach milestones in how they play, learn, speak, act, and move (crawling, walking, etc.). Check out this resource to learn about the expected developmental milestones for children birth to age 5. (CDC.gov/ncbddd/actearly/milestones)

Zero to Three is an organization that works to ensure that all babies and toddlers have a strong start in life. The ZTT website has a host of resources and videos for parents and professionals to browse that outline stages of development. (zerotothree.org)

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