Working to Create More Childcare

The Office of Early Childhood Development (OECD) reports that over 1,500 children are on the waiting list for subsidized childcare slots.

In response to the call for quality childcare, Washington, DC LISC has prioritized this need and is presently working with four childcare providers. Grant funds will allow these centers, highlighted below, to expand their facilities, enhance their operations, and increase their ability to serve more families.

BRIGHT BEGINNINGS (BBI):
One of only two childcare centers in thecity serving homeless families, BBI cares for 84 children, ages six weeks to five years, at the Perry School Community Center in Ward 1. With a waiting list of over 40 children from families in shelters and transitional housing, BBI will explore expanding and diversifying its services.

LISC awarded BBI a $24,000 grant to hire a consultant to conduct a strategic planning process with their Board of Directors. A consultant was hired in January and is currently meeting with the board. The goal is to produce a five year strategic plan to guide the organization by October 2004.

CALVARY BILINGUAL MULTICULTURAL LEARLNING CENTER (CBMLC):
CBMLC serves families from Columbia Heights, Mount Pleasant, and Adams Morgan. Founded in 1986, CBMLC has grown from small center serving 15 children to a comprehensive child and family center, serving more than 600 children and their families.

LISC awarded CBMLC a $100,000 grant to fund start-up costs for its new Infant and Toddler Center that will serve 98 children. The Center will be housed in the Carlos Rosario International Learning Center, and is scheduled to open in the fall of 2004.

NATION’S CAPITAL CHILD AND FAMILY DEVELOPMENT (NCCFD):
Established in 1964, NCCFD operates 25 childcare centers, serving more than 2,000 children, ages 6 weeks to 12 years.

Recently, two centers completed an intensive national accreditation process, which in turn earns them a higher childcare subsidy. The OECD developed a Tiered Rate Reimbursement System, which reimburses subsidized childcare providers at rates that increase incrementally as a center’s quality improves.

To achieve the highest tier – Gold – a center must be nationally accredited. LISC awarded NCCFD an $80,000 grant to hire two Accreditation Specialists to oversee the accreditation of four centers and advance them from Silver to Gold status.

The Accreditation Specialists began work in October and to date one center has achieved the national accreditation and the remaining three are in various stages of the process. With the improved quality of services, the four centers will receive an increase of over $306,000 per year in subsidized childcare reimbursement.

NORTHWEST SETTLEMENT HOUSE (NWSH):
Founded by the Tuesday Evening Club of Social Workers, a group of black women organized to help needy women and children, the NWSH has delivered a wide range of services to the Shaw community for over 70 years.

The NWSH Developmental Day Care Program, serving 45 children, operates out of two different sites. Other NWSH programs serving youth and adults are housed at two additional sites.

NWSH plans to tear down one of their obsolete facilities at 448 Ridge Rd. NW and replace it with a state– of- the- art facility. Currently, they are conducting predevelopment activities, obtaining zoning permits and looking at historic preservation issues. They are also in the preliminary stage of identifying major donors and launching their capital campaign. To assist NWSH in consolidating their programs under one roof, and increase the number of childcare slots, LISC awarded NWSH a $50,000 grant to cover a portion of operating expenses.