New Website Will Help DC Families Research Child Care Options
Mayor Muriel Bowser, Deputy Mayor for Education Jennifer Niles, and State Superintendent of Education Hanseul Kang launched My Child Care DC, a one-stop online resource that helps families find and compare child care options in Washington, DC. The website will allow families to access critical information from nearly 467 child development centers and home-based providers.
“More residents are choosing to start families in the District, and we want them to know that their city supports them every step of the way,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “As we take our investments in our youngest residents to the next level, MyChildCareDC.org will allow families to easily access information about hundreds of child development providers and find the care and education that best meets their child’s needs.”
Developed with input from parents, My Child Care DC allows families to search 352 licensed child development centers and 115 licensed home-based child development facilities by address, zip code, and center name. Families can also filter results by operating hours, type of facility, age range of students served, and quality improvement ratings (gold, silver, bronze). The site also specifies which child care providers accept vouchers and Child and Adult Food Program (CACFP) participants. Each licensed child development facility includes a detailed, easy-to-read provider profile that consists of inspection reports, capacity, licensing information, accreditation, and substantiated complaints vetted by OSSE.
“We’ve heard from many families who have found the search for quality child care options in the District to be difficult and frustrating, especially if they have specific needs, such as child care during the weekend or overnight. Our new website simplifies the child care search by providing families a wealth of information so they can make the best choices,” said State Superintendent Hanseul Kang. “I would like to thank Mayor Bowser for her vision for expanding access to quality child care in the District, and the providers and stakeholders who provided thoughtful feedback and help shaped this new tool.”
In addition to offering easy-to-use facility searches, My Child Care DC further empowers families by including information on ways to connect with key partner agencies and resources in the District, how to use the child care subsidy, and what to think about when choosing a child care provider. A frequently asked questions section helps families understand child care licensing, as well as the range of services child development facilities provide. The website contains an aggregate, annual report of all child deaths and serious injuries occurring in child care facilities in the District.
For child care providers, My Child Care DC offers information on how to get a license to operate a DC child care facility and includes information on partner agencies that facilitate the licensing process.
My Child Care DC is one of many investments Mayor Bowser has made in supporting growing families in the District. In August, the Mayor announced that the Thaddeus Stevens School in Ward 2 would reopen as a new child development center and an expansion of the School Without Walls at Francis-Stevens. Mayor Bowser also announced increased supports for early childhood educators, including expanding the First Step Child Development Associate (CDA) program, which will support 150 high school students in earning their CDA before graduation. Additionally, the Mayor’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget includes $11 million to create more than 1,000 additional infant and toddler seats; identify three new sites in District-owned buildings that will be leased to private child care providers to provide affordable, accessible high-quality care; and help 300 DC residents gain certification as educators for infants and toddlers. Earlier this year, Mayor Bowser also launched Thrive by Five DC, which connects families to resources that support maternal and child health, behavioral health, and early education.