Monday, February 1, 2010

What We're Missing: Child care

Something that came up a few times on the What Is Columbia Heights Missing? post was child care. I know there are a lot of folks in the neighborhood with young kids, but I don't know of too many options for child care. There is an Easter Seals child development center at 13th and Girard, but I'm not sure if that's for any kids or only special needs kids.

Otherwise, however, I don't know of much. Sticky Fingers has the new kids music event on every 1st and 3rd Wednesday, but that's all I've got.

What do you think? Know of any good child care spots around the area?


  1. Easter Seals is open to anyone. They do work with low-income and special-needs kids, but not exclusively.

    Daycare is a problem around the city, though. Wait-lists are generally a year or more. I just don't think it's profitable to run a daycare center. The demand is certainly there.

  2. Martha's Table is also open to anyone. I agree that it's a problem around the city though. Most people I know do face year or more wait lists.

  3. Agreed, Columbia Heights, and the city in general, need more daycare centers, or existing ones need to be expanded. Scarcity and expense of daycare is the single reason my wife and I have not had kids yet. We do not have family in the area and cannot afford a nanny or nanny-share arrangement, and neither of us can work from home (and both need to keep working to pay the bills). So, we are utterly dependent on daycare from the minute maternity leave runs out. This is something that state, local and federal governments should deal with. If it's unprofitable, then either give tax breaks for daycare operators, or roll back expensive/burdensome regulations (it must be a nightmare to insure a daycare center against potential litigation). Of course, we have a fancy children's clothing store in DCUSA, but no daycare center - shows where our societal priorities are. All style, no substance!

  4. I agree that there's not enough childcare... or enough things for kids to do in this neighborhood, though Sticky Fingers is cool for starting up the kiddie music series.

    Mostly, I just wanted to say thanks for covering kid-friendly stuff on this blog. There are a couple of neighborhood blogs I've seen where you would think everyone here is single and childless.

  5. There's actually a good number of options in Columbia Heights: Centro Nia on Columbia Road, Barbara Chambers Center on Irving, Nation's Capitol in the Dance Institute of Washington building, and Carlos Rosario Center on Harvard St. I think there are others run by churches.

    There are also private pre-schools, and some of the other schools that now accept 3 years olds.

    But, no, there are not enough slots to go around, so wait lists are often the result.

  6. The problem with places like Nation's Capital, Carlos Rosario Center, CentroNia, Martha's Table etc are that they almost exclusively serve only low-income parents. With wealthy parents, one can afford to stay home with the kids, but for us middle-class folks, it seems we are screwed. We need more regular, for-profit daycare centers (such as Bright Horizons) in Columbia Heights, or middle class families will continue to move to the suburbs.

  7. I'm a teacher at the Barbara Chambers Children's Center at 1470 Irving Street. It is a NAEYC accredited newly renovated model center that offers the Pre-K Incentive Program for 3 and 4 year olds (DC's pilot program for the expansion of Pre-K classes in the city). While we do serve mostly low-income Latino children, the center is open to anyone. Last year one of my students was the daughter of a teacher at Capital City Public Charter School next door (which also offers Pre-K classes). Just come in and fill out an application! All of the Pre-K classrooms are bilingual.

  8. Hi all,
    DC Public Schools offer free, full-day 3 and 4 year old programs at all of the elementary schools in the Columbia Heights area (Raymond, Tubman, Bruce Monroe @ Park View, Powell) as well as those in nearby neighborhoods (Barnard, West, Bancroft, HD Cooke). Most of these schools also offer low-cost aftercare for children who enroll. (Learn more about these schools and others at

    The Pre-school/Pre-k lottery is actually going on right now -- apply before February 28 at for a spot for next school year.

  9. I was wondering if since this post was written awhile ago there was any potential to do an updated one or if there has not been any change in this need since?



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