Affordable Childcare in D.C. — The Bump
D.C. Area Babies

Affordable Childcare in D.C.

I'm only 23 weeks, but I can see already that finding affordable childcare in D.C. by the time I need it (in Dec or Jan) is going to be a challenge.

My job is Downtown, just north of the White House, but I live in Western Maryland. I REALLY don't want to leave my baby an hour (by car) or two (by public transportation) away, for 10-12 hours, so I've been looking into the daycare facilities near my work. Aside from the 6 -18 month waiting lists, the biggest problem I'm running into is the cost -- they charge twice as much as what I pay in RENT for a month! I really can't afford to try to find another job at this time...I have no stay-at-home friends or family nearby...I don't qualify for state subsidies, but I don't make quite enough for D.C. costs, etc

Can anyone point me to possibilities within 10-15 minutes (by bus or metro) of Farragut North/West that won't cost a mortgage (less than $1450 a month--the least expensive I've found so far)? Full-time is preferable, but part-time will work too.

 Or just some advice...

Re: Affordable Childcare in D.C.

  • Have you considered in-home providers?  They tend to cost less than centers (on average - I don't know about rates in downtown DC).  What about looking somewhere farther from the office?  Either a center farther out in MoCo (still closer than home, but maybe 30 min. away by car) or even an in-home in MoCo that is on your way home?  I suspect that your office is probably the highest cost area for daycare, since the rents and demand are so high downtown.  Our daycare is 20-30 min. from my office and that hasn't been a problem for us.
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  • NP94NP94 member

    Thank you for your suggestion! I actually have been looking into in-home in D.C., but so far, I'm not satisfied with what I'm seeing, considering that many of them are in areas of the city I don't even feel comfortable walking through, based on the crime stats, let alone leave my newborn in. Tongue Tied But I know there are more to see, hoping to find some that people would personally recommend, versus the impersonal, clinical, not very informative searches I'm currently experiencing... ::sigh::

    That being said, I have also been looking at MontCo, but it would have to be near a Metro or train line, since I don't drive into D.C. (Dad has the car), but still the hesitation to leave a newborn that far away (I plan to be able to stop by at lunch for bonding and nursing)...maybe when she's older, but not at first.

    If I were going to be that far away (20-30 minutes by car), I'd rather leave her in Frederick (another 10 minutes further) where at least her dad would be less than 10 minutes away while he's at work. I'm actually still considering that, if I can swing the scheduling issues (Dad and I have conflicting schedules; I leave for work before any accessible childcare providers even open for the day, but I'm looking into an alternative schedule--if that works, my problem would be instantly solved!).

    I guess I'm just trying to make sure I'm seeing all my options--I'm still fairly new to the area and thought I might be missing ideas or resources.

    On a related note, how did you find your daycare? Professional referral, internet or other resource search, word-of-mouth....etc?

    I'm keeping my ears open and I'll keep you posted.


  • FWIW, I work in DC, live in Southern MD.  It's a 63 mile commute one way.  DS' DC provider is about half way in between both.  I don't find it uncomfortable in anyway that he's that far away.  I work at a high profile location aka high threat for a terrorist attack and I'd prefer he be as far away from this place as possible!

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  • I don't think any of the women who've posted here in the past have used in-homes in DC proper.  You could try joining the board we created a few months ago (http://www.dcnestrefugees.****/) and asking directly.  Just let me know if you sign up and I can make sure you get approved.

    We were looking in Arlington and simply called a bunch of convenient caregivers from the county's list and made appointments to visit the ones who had openings.  I'm a firm believer in your gut leading you well for kid-related decisions like this.  Esp. when you may have a hard time finding others who need daycare in the same location as you, and when internet strangers are less than forthcoming about their specific daycare experiences when they are concerned about strangers knowing where their kids are all day after lurking on a chat board!

    Bonding and nursing at lunch is a great idea in theory, but you really only get a few months where that is feasible (before the baby is aware and upset that you're leaving).  If you can't afford a daycare that's close enough to make it possible (or get off a waiting list for anywhere close to the office - another common situation), then you might need to give up on that lunchtime idea.

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  • I am the mom of a 5 month on baby girl and we went with the Nanny route this time around. We (mother & father) both work in DC but I feel safer knowing our baby isn't in the city during the day. Especially in the event of an emergency.

     The Nanny has been a great experience for us thus far we are almost 3 months in.

  • NP94NP94 member

    Would LOVE to have a nanny, but it's just not in the budget... :-(


  • What about doing a nanny share? There are tons of pregnant moms to be walking around Farragut North (me included, but our baby is coming late March) and I bet that some other moms feel the same way about having their baby nearby.

    I would also love to do the breastfeeding at lunch bonding but downtown DC childcare is ridiculously expensive so we'll probably wind up with an in-home day care in NE where we live, less expensive and near home on the way to the metro for work. I would be interested in a nanny share starting in July/August too.

    I have to say NE is shaping up quickly, my husband and I love our house and yard and our 30 minute commute and our mortgage is cheaper than the rent that most of our friends pay!

  • My 3-month old goes to Daycare near U Street for $800/month.  The facility is a bit worn down and the neighborhood is not Georgetown fancy, but I really like his teachers and they have given him some great lessons (taught him to reach his toes and currently working on rolling over).  We toured about 6 daycares in/around Columbia Heights and all were way more expensive and had less impressive staff/teachers.

    I'd be interested in finding a nanny share that could be near or in our home in Columbia Heights, but I'm unsure of how to find a nanny that I could trust.  Message me if you want to hear more [email protected]

  • Hello,

    I am not sure if you have found anything as yet, but I am about 17 weeks and similarly disheartened with daycare options in DC.  I live in Columbia Heights and work downtown. I'm looking to setup a nanny share with interested parents starting June next year. I know this is later than what you need, but please contact me if you would like to discuss further. [email protected]



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