FAQs

About Us

What is the CCR&R?

All fifty states currently have at least one Child Care Resource and Referral program. The purpose of the CCR&R system is to create an integrated and effective system of supports and services for families and child care providers in the District of Columbia. The DC CCR&R services include:

  • Helping connect families with early care and education opportunities, including information on how to access educational and financial resources, understand quality child care and the importance of quality in promoting positive child development, and other supports needed by families seeking child care assistance;
  • Connecting early care and education providers to professional development that adhere to the mission and priorities of the Division of Early Learning and provide information to respond to local and federal regulatory requirements to support the early childhood workforce;
  • Providing technical assistance, consultation and coaching to child development facilities on how to provide inclusive child care settings and meet the needs of children with disabilities and special health needs
  • Providing and maintaining access to a resource –rich CCR&R lending library that allows families and early childhood educators access to quality literature and books, digital resources and curriculum; and
  • Creating and maintaining collaborative relationships with other agencies within the District.

 

 

Become a Licensed Child Care Provider

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.

Caring for Children with Special Needs

Where can I get support to work with a child with special needs?

Strong Start DC Early Intervention Program (DC EIP) serves as the single point of entry for District families concerned about their child’s development. Strong Start is a city-wide, comprehensive, coordinated, multidisciplinary system that provides early intervention therapies and services for infants and toddlers with disabilities and developmental delays and their families.

Early Stages is a DC Public Schools (DCPS) assessment center for children between the ages of 2 years 8 months and 5 years 10 months. They help identify any developmental delays that your child may have and will arrange services to address them. The center can serve any child who goes to a DC public school, is home-schooled or has not yet entered the school system.

Child Development

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.
  • 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.

Children with Special Needs

Are there centers that accept children with special needs?

Yes, there are centers that accept children with special needs.  The ADA requires that child care providers not discriminate against persons with disabilities on the basis of disability.  Most child care centers and family day care homes are public accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and must provide equal opportunity for children, parents and others with disabilities to participate in programs and services.  A parent or child may not be excluded solely on the basis of disability. Some of the ways child care programs are required to ensure equal access include:

  • eliminating or modifying eligibility criteria which discriminate simply on the basis of disability;
  • removing physical barriers; making reasonable modifications in policies, practices or procedures; and
  • providing auxiliary aids and services to ensure effective communication.  The higher insurance premium for the child care program is not a valid reason for denying the enrollment of a child with a disability.

Find Child Care

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 find out about the quality of a child development facility?

My Child Care DC is a user friendly website that will help you identify information about the quality of the child care centers in DC.  There is a lot to consider when choosing an early childhood education provider. You’ll want to find a provider that offers the type of care you want, fits within your budget, and meets your scheduling needs. On top of that, it’s also important to make sure it’s a high-quality program where your child can play, learn, and grow. So how do you choose? Here are some resources to help you to select a child development facility that is the perfect fit for your family.

Before choosing a child care provider, it can be helpful to schedule visits to a few different programs.  You can learn a great deal about each program when you spend time there in-person watching daily routines and asking questions. When you visit, use one of these Child Care Checklists to see if it meets the needs of your family and is a quality program.

  • Keys to Quality Child Care Checklist – This comprehensive checklist was developed by the Child Care Resource Center to help you determine the quality of the care. This tool was created by child development specialists, researchers, and families to help you make the best choice when choosing child care.
  • 5 Steps to Choosing Child Care – This resource was created by Child Care Aware to guide you through the important steps to take when looking for child care. Helpful tips are shared on where to look, what to look for, and what to do after you select a provider.
  • Selecting a Child Care Program – Another resource created by Child Care Aware. This tool gives information on what a quality program looks like. Use this when you visit child care programs to help you make your decision.

Where do I find information about my child participating in the Pre-K or Head Start programs?

DC provides free high quality pre-kindergarten in public schools, public charter schools, private providers and publicly funded community based child development programs for children 30 months to 5 years old who live in the District. For information about Pre-K and Head Start call 202-727-1839 or visit the pre-k and head start information.

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 can I learn about child development facilities licensing requirements?

You can learn about licensing of child development facilities in the District of Columbia by looking at the OSSE child care licensing regulations website.

 

 

Higher Education Programs

How can I afford higher education in Early Childhood?

The District of Columbia requires professionals working with its early learning population to obtain credentials and higher education degrees to maintain employment within its early childhood education centers. While obtaining credentials and degrees can be expensive, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education provides funding for early childhood educators to obtain the educational requirements through partnerships with a host of local agencies. The following partners provide funding for educators to obtain the required credentials.

  • Child Developmental Associate Credential™ is the most widely recognized credential in early childhood education (ECE) and is a key stepping stone on the path of career advancement in ECE. The Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential™ is based on a core set of competency standards, which guide early care professionals as they work toward becoming qualified teachers of young children. The Council works to ensure that the nationally-transferable CDA is a credible and valid credential, recognized by the profession as a vital part of professional development.  The following programs are free thanks to the support of the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE).

    Degrees in Early Childhood Education
    T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood®, Washington, D.C. provides educators with the opportunity to earn an Associate and/or Bachelor degrees in Early Childhood Education debt-free while working full time. Educators receive funds for tuition, books, travel and other expenses, while their sponsoring employer receives support for paid release time. The T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood Washington, D.C. program partners with over 10 institutions of higher education in order to provide a variety of options and education settings to provide for the needs of the workforce (Call 202-833-2220 and Press 4 or visit the T.E.A.C.H website.

Home

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)

Join a Professional Organization

What Professional Organizations should I join?

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is a professional membership organization that works to promote high-quality early learning for all young children, birth through age 8, by connecting early childhood practice, policy, and research.