The DC Area’s Best Childcare Providers


One of the first decisions many parents make (sometimes even before their child is born!) is where they’ll send their little ones to daycare. There are so many things to consider to find the best childcare – proximity to work and home, waitlist time, tuition and fees…

Whether you’re just starting your search or in deep and overwhelmed by the choices, we’re here to help. We polled our readers and did our own research to find the very best childcare options in DC, Maryland, and Virginia.

If you have others to add, please let us know in the comments!

Bright Horizons

Choosing a child care and early education center is a big decision. At Bright Horizons®, we want you to walk out the door each day knowing your children are safe in our care, loved and supported by skilled teachers, and motivated to unleash their curiosity and learn everything they need to be ready for the next big step.

In 2018, we proudly became the first early learning organization to offer tuition benefits that enable teachers to earn early education degrees — for free. Our Horizons Teacher Degree Program is just one way we’re ensuring the very best, both for the children in our centers and the teachers in our field.

With locations throughout the DMV, we’re never too far from your work or home. Visit the link below to find the closest Bright Horizons center near you!

Ages: 6 weeks – 5 years

Operating Hours: 7:30 AM – 6:00 PM

Many locations in DC, Maryland, and Virginia

Please call the individual center you are interested in.

Shepherd Park Children’s Academy

Shepherd Park Children’s Academy opened in October 2023 in order to provide more options for high quality child care for children in our area.

We are OSSE Licensed and serve infants – age 5 with high quality early education in a clean, safe and caring environment. Our play-based curriculum emphasizes healthy habits and an early love for learning.

Age-appropriate programs include reading, math, arts, music, dance, nature and exposure to different languages!

Ages: 0 – 5 years

Operating Hours: 7:00 AM – 6:00 PM

7838 Eastern Ave NW
Washington, DC 20012


Two Birds

Two Birds is a Reggio-inspired school for infants through pre-k. Our all inclusive and holistic approach to education supports the entire family through our spaces, services and community. In addition to full time weekday care, families have complimentary access to weekend programming and on-site coworking space.

At Two Birds, children explore and research the world around them while learning through interactions with teachers, classmates, and open-ended materials. Family engagement is highlighted through technology that enhances classroom documentation and through opportunities to experience children’s work during exhibitions and family events. Two Birds has locations in Tenleytown, West End, and Old Town.

Ages: Infants – Pre-K

Operating Hours: 8:30 AM – 5:45 PM

2300 N Street NW
Washington, DC 20037


University for Kids Capitol Riverfront

Come join us on Saturday June 1st @ 10am – 1pm for an exciting sneak peek at our NEW LOCATION! Located at 1550 First St SW, we will celebrate the grand opening of our newest University for Kids location in the vibrant Navy Yard / Capitol Riverfront neighborhood! The day will be filled with fun activities for children and tours for parents.

Enjoy engaging arts and crafts, interactive learning demos, and a chance to meet current families and our qualified educators who are excited to become a part of your child’s learning journey. Additionally, we will have a face painter, live kid-friendly entertainment (Kidsinger Jim), refreshments, and a fun interactive photo booth! There will be deep savings for our founding families that enroll by this date. For enrollment questions, please call Ann Marie at 202.681.4249 or visit our website.

Please rsvp here. Or, schedule a tour. We look forward to seeing you!

Ages: 0 – 4 years

Operating Hours: 7:00 AM – 6:00 PM

1550 First St. SW
Washington, DC 20024


Additional Excellent Childcare Providers in the DC Area

ABC Child Development Center, Inc. | Petworth

Bambini Play & Learn | Federal Triangle

Blandi’s Child Education Center | Brightwood Park

Bright Horizons at L Street | West End

Bright Start Early Care & Preschool | 16th Street Heights

Broadcaster’s Child Development Center | Chevy Chase

Capital Kids DC | West End

CentroNia | Many locations

Creative Minds Childcare  | Columbia Heights

Embassy Row Child Development Center | Cathedral Heights

Estrellitas Montessori School | 16th Street Heights

Everbrook Academy | Foggy Bottom & Dupont

Fingerprints Child Development Center | National Mall

Franklin Montessori | Cleveland Park

Ideal Care Child Development Center | Petworth

Kiddie Academy | West End

Kids’ Corner Day Care Center, Inc. | Kalorama

Kindercare | City Ridge

Kindercare | Watergate

Kindercare | Many Locations

La Petite Academy | Pleasant Plains

Logan-Shaw Child Care | Shaw

MESAC Child Development Center | Columbia Heights & Cardozo

Milestones Enrichment Center | Chinatown

National Presbyterian Child Care Center | AU Park

Peaceful Play Center | Brightwood Park

Semillitas Early Learning Center | Cardozo

Shepherd Park Children’s Academy | Shepherd Park

Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center (SEEC) | Federal Triangle

Soles Montessori | 16th Street Heights

St. Alban’s Early Childhood Center | Cathedral Heights

Tiny Findings | Penn Quarter

Triangle Tots | Federal Triangle

Two Birds | Tenleytown & West End

YMCA Early Learning | Cardozo, Foggy Bottom

American Day School | Alexandria

Arlington Children’s Center | Arlington

Arlington Early Learning Center | Arlington

Arlington Unitarian Cooperative Preschool (AUCP) | Arlington

Booz Allen Family Hamilton Center | Mclean

Bright Horizons at Ballston | Arlington

Bright Horizons at Boone Blvd | Vienna

Bright Horizons at Courthouse Station | Arlington

Bright Horizons at Crystal City | Arlington

Bright Horizons at National Landing | Arlington

Bright Horizons at Old Town Alexandria | Alexandria

Bright Horizons at Rosslyn | Arlington

Bright Horizons at Tysons Corner | Mclean

C Care Preschool | Arlington

Chesterbrook Academy Preschool | Alexandria

Childtime | Many Locations

Congressional School | Falls Church

Country Woodland School | Springfield

Creative World Learning Centre | Alexandria & Annandale

Crystal City Children’s Center | Arlington

Discovery Time Learning Center | Alexandria

Everbrook Academy | Crystal City

First Baptist Church of Clarendon Child Development Center | Arlington

First Steps Academy | McLean

Flagstone School | Alexandria

Great Beginnings Early Learning Center | Alexandria

Hamdi’s Childcare | Lorton

Hopkins House | Alexandria

iSprout STEAM Academy | Arlington

Kiddie Academy | Alexandria

KinderCare | Many Locations

La Petite Academy | Many Locations

Little Wonders Playschool | Alexandria

Madison Day School | Alexandria

Nest Academy | Alexandria, Del Ray, Lorton

Rosslyn Children’s Center | Arlington

Springfield Academy | Alexandria, North Springfield

St. Anthony’s Day School | Alexandria

The Vine Preschool | Alexandria

Two Birds | Alexandria

UCM Early Learning Center | Alexandria

YMCA Early Learning | Alexandria & Reston

Children’s Manor Montessori School | MD – Rockville

Estrellitas Montessori School | NW DC – 16th Street Heights

Franklin Montessori | NW DC – Cleveland Park

Green Valley Montessori | MD – Clarksburg

Soles Montessori | NW DC – 16th Street Heights

The Britleys for Toddlers | SW DC – Waterfront

Bambini Play & Learn | NW DC – Federal Triangle

Bethesda Reggio | MD – Bethesda

CentroNia | NW DC – Many locations, MD – Takoma Park

Creative Explorers Child Care Center | MD – Gaithersburg

Estrellitas Montessori School | NW DC – 16th Street Heights

Kids’ Corner Day Care Center, Inc. | NW DC – Kalorama

Peaceful Play Center | NW DC – Brightwood Park

Want to be a part of our Guide?

We want to show our readers all the great childcare options available right here in the DC area. Partnering with us allows your business greater visibility with a large targeted market of local families. Join us and help enrich the lives of DC Area Moms!


  1. I would delete Primrose (the franchise here has a lot of issues and complaints and the Virginia location suddenly shut down). Also, I would recommend Children in the Shoe, which is in Maryland. It’s an amazing and incredibly well-run group.


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