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June 28, 2016
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Home > Health & Human Services > Human Services > Locating Childcare in the Washington Area

Locating Childcare in the Washington Area

COG provides the following listings of information providers as part of the Foster care and Adoption Program. The phone numbers and organizations in the Childcare Information Listings provide resource and referral information about child care centers, nursery schools, family child care, and before and after school child care in the Washington metropolitan region. Information is provided by mail or over the phone and may include ages of children served, location, and hours of operation. A fee for information may be charged. COG does not assume responsibility for any information provided by these external sources.

Access to the Childcare Information Listings.

Definitions Used in the Listings

  • Child Care Center: Full or part-time child care, usually year-round, in groups.
  • Nursery School: Part-time program which operates during the school year for children 2 to 5 years.
  • Family Child Care Home: Full or part-time care for children in a caregiver's home.
  • Before and After School Care: Program which provides care for school-aged children before and after the regular school day located in centers, homes, community buildings, or public schools.
  • Financial Assistance: Subsidies, scholarships or sliding fee scales to help meet child care fees.
  • Assistance to Providers: Orientation, technical assistance and training offered to persons interested in, or already providing care to young children.

Tips for Selecting Child Care

  1. Decide what you need and want in a child care setting, including number of hours, time of day, location, cost, size of group, and the philosophy of a program.
  2. Call the numbers listed in this brochure for more information. Ask about the process used to include providers and programs on their lists, about regulations and standards, and aspects of quality child care.
  3. Call several providers and arrange a visit. Ask if there is a waiting list. When visiting observe the program, facility, staff and caregivers, and children.
  4. Check references with parents who have used the provider or program.
  5. Obtain and review written materials about guidelines and policies, procedures of the program. Ask what both the caregiver's and the parent's responsibilities are. Ask about procedures if a parent arrives after hours or for closing due to weather.
  6. Each family is unique. Take time to choose quality child care that you determine feels right to you and your child.
  7. Monitor closely and participate in your child's care. Communication helps to ensure an effective partnership between families and caregivers.
  8. This information is provided as a public service and in no way represents an endorsement of the information provided by these agencies.

Additional Resources

Check your local library for books and further information or contact the following organizations:

  • National Association for the Education of Young Children
    1509 16th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20009.
    (202) 232-8777
  • National Association for Family Child Care
    1331-A Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Suite 348, Washington, D.C. 20004.
  • National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies
    1319 F Street, N.W., Suite 810, Washington, D.C. 20004-1106.
    (202) 393-5501.
  • National Black Child Development Institute Inc.
    1023 15th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20005.
    (202) 387-1281.
  • National Coalition of Hispanic Health and Human Services Organizations
    1501 16th Street N.W., Washington, D.C. 20009.
    (202) 387-5000.


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