CCR&R Service Center Locations:

209 Upshur St. NW,
Washington, DC 20011
Phone: (202) 829-2500

2041 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE,
Washington, DC 20020
Phone: (202) 678-0027

Tips to Choose Child Care

How to Choose Child Care?

When you are looking for child care options for your child, it can feel like there are a lot of choices. The District of Columbia has over 400 licensed child care providers in addition to public schools, charter schools, and private schools that offer pre-Kindergarten. How do you choose the right facility for your child?

Factors to consider:

  • Is the facility conveniently located for you? Consider how close the facility is to your home or work, whether it is near a Metro or bus line, or whether you will be able to find parking if you plan on driving to and from the facility.
  • Is the facility open during times that align with your schedule? Consider when you will need to pick-up and drop-off your child, or if you will need child care during nontraditional hours, such as early in the morning or late at night.
  • Does the cost of child care feel realistic for your family? If you need assistance paying for child care, the Child Care Subsidy Program may be able to assist you. The Child Care Subsidy Program offers financial assistance in the form of child care vouchers to low-income families. Please visit Paying for Child Care for more information.
  • Does your child have special needs? If your child has a disability or other special medical needs, make sure that the facilities you consider can provide the right type of services and support.


How do I find quality care?

Families can get access to information about quality child care options through the My Child Care DC website and the Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) Agency, which is a free resource that helps connect families with early care and education opportunities.

What are the benefits of quality child care?

A quality child care setting provides a safe place for young children to grow in their development and acquire the basic skills needed for academic achievement, especially in areas such as reading comprehension and math. It helps children think critically, learn from teachers and peers, make friends, express thoughts and feelings, build confidence, and cope with frustration and attachment – fundamental skills needed for success in school, career, and life.

The first few years of a child’s life are critical learning years. Research suggests that quality child care promotes school readiness and positive early learning experiences for young children. Healthy adult-child interactions and with qualified early childhood professionals can improve children’s developmental, social, emotional and educational needs.

What do I look for in a licensed child care setting?

There are many things to consider when selecting a child care setting. The District of Columbia’s child care licensing regulations establish the minimum requirements necessary to protect the health, safety, welfare, and positive development of children in care. How to discover if a location is the right place for your child? Check out Child Care Aware’s 38 Research-Based Indicators of Quality Child Care, which is a project of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Care. You can also click here for Child Care Aware’s five steps to choosing child care.

Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS)

A Quality Rating and Improvement System or QRIS is a method of assessing, improving, and communicating the level of quality in early care and education settings. In addition, QRIS is a way of measuring and sharing information about the quality of child care providers in the District of Columbia. States across the country, including DC, are developing these rating systems to help parents understand and select high-quality child care facilities for young learners. My Child Care DC and CCR&R provide information about a child development facility’s participation in QRIS.

Capital Quality, DC’s Enhanced QRIS

Capital Quality is the District of Columbia’s enhanced QRIS, replacing its current system called Going for the Gold. Capital Quality aims to provide meaningful consumer information, helps the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) align supports for providers to research-based quality standards, and targets areas of improvement through collaborative partnership between child development providers, OSSE, and other agencies.

Capital Quality will be public-facing. This allows parents to review and compare the program quality of various child development providers throughout the District. For more information on Capital Quality, click here.

How do I connect with the CCR&R?

CCR&R is available via telephone, email, or in-person at their two locations. Please see the table below for contact information and locations.

Location 1 Location 2 Hotline and Email Address
Point of Contact:
Dale Brown
209 Upshur St. NW Washington, DC 20011
(202) 829-2500
Monday-Friday: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Point of Contact:
Brenda Harris
2041 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE, Washington, DC 20020
(202) 678-0027
Monday-Friday: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
CCR&R Hotline:
(202) 829-2500 Monday-Friday: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Translation services provided
CCR&R Email address:


© 2017 DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE)