DC offering grants aimed at helping child care providers grow

A grant hopes to make it easier for parents to find a licensed day care in D.C.

“Child care is critically important to any region’s economic stability and recovery,” said Christina Grant, D.C.’s superintendent of education.

The $10 million available as part of the city’s Access to Quality Childcare Grant is focused on “creating more slots and opportunities for our infants in toddlers” within existing day care providers.

It’s something the District did between the fiscal years of 2018 to 2020, when $9 million was made available to providers willing to expand and increase the number of available slots, whether they were brick-and-mortar locations or licensed in-home providers.

“We know that infants and toddlers are the most challenging area for families to find care for, because there are fewer slots for infants and toddlers than for other age ranges,” said Sara Mead, the District’s deputy superintendent of early learning.

The first time this grant was offered, Mead said that it helped providers around D.C. create more than 1,200 slots for additional children. The hope is that this time, the $10 million can match that.

“Costs for child care have gone up. Costs for construction have also gone up,” Mead said. “So we think it may take more resources, but our aim is to hit the same numbers that we hit the previous round.”

The grant is not about subsidizing families that need help paying for child care, but for the facilities that exist to create more room for them.

“One of the ways that this grant can help is by reducing the costs of … expansion for our facilities,” Mead said.

Grant and Mead said any parent looking for child care now can visit the My Child Care DC website and find a list of all licensed facilities throughout the city.

You can also filter the list so that it only shows child care facilities that currently have space for the age range you’re looking for.

John Domen

John started working at WTOP in 2016 after having grown up in Maryland listening to the station as a child. While he got his on-air start at small stations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, he's spent most of his career in the D.C. area, having been heard on several local stations before coming to WTOP.

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