Parent and Family Resources
DC Child Care Connections: The District’s child care resource and referral agency helps parents and families find early care and education options, answer questions and connect with early care and education resources. Visit their website, email OSSE.DCChildcareConnections@dc.gov or call (202) 829-2500 to get assistance.
Child Care Aware: If you’re anxious or overwhelmed by your early care and education search, you’re not alone. This site can give you the tools to be confident through the process. Click to learn how to take the process one step at a time and what you’ll need to know to make the right early care and education choice.
Thrive by Five: The District of Columbia’s one-stop resource to ensure that families have the early childhood health and education resources they need to succeed.
Strong Start Early Intervention Program: Strong Start provides information, resources and support to families with children birth to age 3 with developmental delays. If you are concerned about your child’s development, call the Strong Start hotline at (202) 727-3665. You can also view information about developmental milestones of young children or see an overview of the Strong Start process. Visit the Strong Start website below for general information.
DC Child Development Facility Licensing, Compliance and Safety Information: What steps does a child development facility need to take in order to become licensed in the District of Columbia? Licensing requirements ensure that programs are meeting the minimum standards for care in the District of Columbia in order to open and begin operating. In addition, every licensed child development facility receives monitoring visits to make sure they continue to meet licensing and health and safety requirements. Child development facilities receive one announced visit and one unannounced visit each year, and additional visits may happen at any time.
Individuals working in child development facilities or supervising children must undergo a criminal background check. See here for information about the background check process and the offenses that prevent an individual from working in a child development facility.
See OSSE’s website for more information about the licensing process for child development facilities.
Early Care and Education Information for Families: At-a-glance information on finding early care and education programs, child care subsidies and other important early care and education information.
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Promoting Positive Behavior to Prevent Suspensions and Expulsions: The District of Columbia resource on promoting positive behavior to foster children’s social and emotional growth and prevent the escalation of behaviors that may lead to suspension and expulsion of children from birth to age 5 in child development facilities. Click here to learn more.
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Head Start and Early Head Start: Head Start and Early Head Start are federally-funded early care and education programs for low-income infants, toddlers, young children ages 3-5, pregnant women and their families. In the District of Columbia, there are nine federal grantees funding Head Start and Early Head Start centers. Click to view information on the grantees in Washington, DC and the centers they fund.
National Association for the Education of Young Children Resources for Families: This website, maintained by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), provides guidance, tips and resources for families raising young children.
State Children’s Health Insurance Program: The District of Columbia offers medical coverage to income eligible residents through Medicaid, Alliance and DC Healthy Families programs. This website provides information about Medicaid benefits and how to apply.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): SNAP, previously known as food stamps, helps income eligible residents and families buy the food they need for good health. This website provides information about SNAP benefits and how to apply.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): TANF provides financial assistance to families with children when available financial resources do not meet the needs of the family. Adults in families receiving TANF benefits must meet financial and other eligibility requirements. In the District of Columbia, the Department of Human Services provides TANF to eligible families. Visit their website for more information.
Women, Infants and Children (WIC): WIC provides healthy foods, immunization assessment and screening, health care referrals and nutrition and breastfeeding resources to pregnant women, new mothers, infants and children up to age 5. In addition, for women with children above age 1, WIC also provides fresh fruits and vegetables from May through November through the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program. This website provides general information, resources and information about how to apply for WIC benefits in Washington, DC.
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program: The District of Columbia Department of Energy and the Environment assists eligible low-income District households with energy costs associated with heating and cooling through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. This
website provides information on general eligibility requirements and how to apply for assistance.
Healthy Futures Program: Find information and resources provided by the District of Columbia Government for families, young children and older youth who may need assistance with mental or behavioral health.
Affordable Housing: Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Roots to Roofs DC initiative is a focused effort to highlight housing programs available to DC residents. Roots to Roofs DC aims to: (1) offer a comprehensive resource, rootstoroofsdc.com, and first stop for housing programs, events and information; (2) celebrate those who choose to put down and grow their roots in DC; and (3) share housing investments and policies that seek to support long-time residents while nurturing our growth. “Our strength is in our roots. Let’s put a roof on it.”