Dear PoP – Daycare question

Photo by PoPville flickr user *tinadelarosa

“Dear PoP,

My husband and I are moving to Petworth next month with our 6 month old daughter. We love the neighborhood, but are busily trying to find a good daycare for our daughter. Any recommendations? What daycares do the citizens of PoPville love?”

Who do you guys use? And if you feel comfortable can you say how much they charge and whether or not there was a waiting list? Also, please leave the name of the neighborhood where your daycare is as well.

24 Comment

  • Thanks for your post. I am eagerly waiting to hear people’s comments because I want to know too. Please also share if anyone is using a “Nanny Share”


  • I take my 6 year old to little rascals on Georgia Ave. I pay $45 for the day, includes playtime and a bed.

  • I would post on the petworth parents listserve. Most centers in DC have huge waitlists for infants-a year or more. You may have better luck with a home daycare. I have heard good things about Bright Start on Kennedy St. at Georgia Avenue, and its a new center so may have some openings.

  • We never found a suitable daycare in the area, so we went with a nanny share. We LOVE it. The other family has a yard. More personal attention at about the same cost as a good center.

  • I’m also interested in doing a nanny share for an infant starting in January…POP, can you help us privately exchange email address so maybe we can connect with other POP readers?

  • We’ve gone the nanny-share route for 2+ years. In ours, both famililes pay $300 cash per week. Convenient and inexpensive compared to most other options. Coordinated using the Nanny Share Forums of the DC Urban Moms site: (disclaimer: the rest of the forums on that site tend to get out of hand; recommend you steer clear)

    • Seriously, I’m scared of those women! But if you say the nanny share section is worth the self-righteous diabtribes and snobbery, I’ll take the risk.

  • I don’t have kids but there are a couple daycare centers in Brightwood where the kids always seem very happy. Up on Georgia and Rittenhouse, that area has several. Sorry I can’t be more specific.

  • There is one in the building of Dunkin Donuts on 14th and Girard in CH. Not sure about cost…

  • We nanny share, but on Cap Hill rates are higher and the nannies have a fairly tightly run nanny mafia to rule out any bartering. Once you talk to Maria and think she is too high, the others won’t speak to you because you have already spoken to Maria, if you catch my drift. That being said we have a wonderful share, but I believe we are closer to $450 per family per week, plus all applicable employment taxes etc. The cash under the table deals are better, but I love me some taxes so I just couldn’t wait to pay tax again on money I already paid income taxes on so that I have the pleasure of employeeing someone.

  • Definitely join the Petworth Parents group, especially if you’re interested in a nanny share in the neighborhood. In addition to Bright Start on Georgia Ave, there’s one called Adventureland on Kansas, between Randolph and Taylor, but they might only take kids older than a year. And there are a few home daycares in Petworth and Columbia Heights. I have no idea about the quality of any of these.

    A few years old, but probably fairly accurate, list of DC daycare centers:

    And a similarly old and less likely to be accurate list of home daycares:

    You can get updated lists from the Dept. of Health at 801 N. Capitol and might get lucky if you call and ask if they’ll email it to you.

    As for what we do, we’re at Broadcaster’s at the Intelsat building across the park, in Van Ness. We pay $1740/month, which is right in the middle of the range of prices we found for daycare centers. We were on the waiting list for about 11 months before we got a spot and lucked into that one. We’ve been on the waitlist at 3 or 4 other places for about 20 months and haven’t heard a word about openings, though I haven’t followed up since we’re really happy where we are.

  • Expect long long wait lists!
    Bright Horizons corporate-like but professional
    First Baptist CDC in Dupont is awesome
    Kid’s Corner in Kalorama has dual language

    We used nanny share which was great for infant, but like the social training for “school” we now get with the formal class-room like handling of the daycare.

    Given the rates, man, I’d like to open a good one in Petworth! Or run a baby bus to pick up and head down the hill…

  • I live in 14th and Girard building and daycare is for 3 year olds, but i think it’s free for DC residents so i highly reccommend you get on that waiting list

  • We use Little Flower Montessori on 16th St. and Columbia (about one mile from the very south of Petworth). It’s bilingual (spanish) and very small, excellent teacher to student ratio. They go until 1st grade and it’s $1500/month for 8-6pm. Mrs. Noguchi, the lead teacher, is wonderful and our son seems very happy there. We are renting now, so if we buy deeper in Petworth we may have to go with a nanny share since it is quite a walk every morning/evening.

  • We sent our now-three-year-old to Tiny Tots on Rock Creek Church for a year. He loved it. $800/month. They have been at it for ever. There was one kid in my son’s class who was a legacy–his dad was a student when he was just a little dad. It is not Montessori or bi-lingual or wait-listed or cotillion or Ivy-League Prep day care; just a bunch of old black ladies who know a thing or two about raising kids. Probably not for everybody, but just right for us.

  • Consider going the au pair route if you have room in your house, mental space for having someone live with you, and ease with cultural boundaries. Cultural Care is a hook-up. $7000/yr +$200/wk for ~40 hours/week = about $10/hour, and it’s eligible for dependent care tax preference. Plus, it can include light child-oriented housework and babysitting for parent date nights. Au pairs: they’re not just for fancy people anymore!

  • Our toddler goes to De Colores in Brightwood/Takoma Park and all of us love it. It’s a spanish immersion program and the caretakers are extremely loving and caring. The teachers are really engaging and tuned into the balance of the social, emotional and educational development of the little ones. Right now they take 6 wk – 3 yr olds, and I believe there might be a waitlist, but they are expanding and will soon go up to 5 yrs. We pay $1275/month. I’ve also heard good things about Bright Start on Kennedy and know families who are happy with that center. There’s also a center on 14th and Park in CH. I haven’t heard anything about quality of care, but it looked clean and the caretakers appeared to be loving when we looked at it 2 yrs ago.

  • Since PoP gave me the go ahead…

    I’m actually opening a home day care (Little Lotus) starting around the end of July, beginning of August, in Columbia Heights. I am currently working on getting my license.
    I was a nanny in Capitol Hill for some time and before that I was a pre-k teacher — and I just had my first daughter last May. I have also had many hours in Montessori training although the day care will not be exclusively Montessori.
    I’m in the process of building a website but for now you can reach me at [email protected] for more information.

    Stay tuned…


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