Category Archives: Child Care

Why Choose Bright Horizons Preschool?

Choosing a preschool is a big decision, and it’s one you want to feel great about. You want your child to be happy, to make friends, and to learn the academic and social skills needed for kindergarten. Plus, a location and schedule that’s convenient for you also helps.

Learn how parents found the right mix of curriculum, teachers, environment, and convenience with Bright Horizons in this video and then find a center near you and schedule a personal visit.

This post is sponsored by Bright Horizons Early Education and Preschool®, however, I only promote programs, places, and events that I genuinely believe in and think will be of interest to KFDC readers.

1 Comment

Filed under Babies, Child Care, Daycare, DC, Educational, Maryland, Preschoolers, Schools, Toddlers, Virginia

10 Reasons Why KinderCare is a Top Daycare Option in the DMV and NOVA

[Note: This is a sponsored Guest Post contributed by the staff at KinderCare Learning Centers.]

As a DMV or NOVA family, your Instagram feed likely has a shot (or 10) of your child under the cherry blossom trees on the National Mall or gallivanting around the Smithsonian. But raising a child in the District is about more than these photo-worthy moments. It’s also about giving your child plenty of chances to explore and learn at their own pace — and joining a childcare community that feels just right for your family.

Of course, just finding care can be a challenge in the DC area. There aren’t nearly enough childcare spaces for all the babies and toddlers that call the area home. Luckily, KinderCare Learning Centers recently opened more centers to help meet the need, including the South Riding center in Chantilly and two brand-new centers at Penn Quarter and the Watergate building.

An early childhood education company that’s been at it for 50 years, KinderCare is laser focused on what children growing up today need to be ready for kindergarten — and beyond. “Studies show that children who 
attend high-quality programs are 
better prepared for school, have higher high school graduation rates, and even have better long-term health,” says Dr. Elanna Yalow, KinderCare Education’s chief academic officer.

How does that translate into great centers for children? Take a look!

1. Every child should have space to thrive.
When children enter a KinderCare center, they know it’s designed just for them—because it is! Each classroom is filled with toys at kid-eye level and places where tots can create, express themselves, play, and pretend. It’s also a “print-rich environment”: Books are readily available and words are everywhere, which help plant the seeds for strong literacy skills. It’s a perfect place for busy toddlers whose personalities are just beginning to emerge (sometimes with gusto)!

2. Creativity means more than drawing inside the lines.
While writing on the walls probably isn’t something parents want to encourage at home (unless they invest in some whiteboard paint), children have plenty of opportunities to express their creative side at KinderCare! For little ones, painting and drawing this fuels creativity, builds fine-motor skills, develops symbolic thinking, and creates a sense of community and ownership in the classroom when children see their masterpieces hanging on the walls.

3. Books are within easy reach of little hands.
No tall bookcases here! Placing books within easy reach makes reading super accessible — and that encourages book love. Instead of waiting for an adult to bring a book over, kids can initiate story time all on their own. When they’re little, KinderCare teachers teach children how to be gentle with books and treat them kindly. Teachers also know that one way kids learn to read is by associating simple written words with objects. So, in KinderCare classrooms, teachers label things like chairs and tables to give children a head start on their ABCs.

4. We like to play pretend.
ROAR! Playing with animal toys lets kids make new sounds and play pretend. Also known as dramatic play, playing pretend helps children work on problem-solving and social-emotional skills like cooperation — and it’s also tons of fun! When an adult is playing with a child, it’s important to get down to the child’s eye level (like KinderCare teachers do) to help them connect.

5. There’s no right way to play.
KinderCare teachers let kids play their own way. That’s why there’s plenty of unstructured play time into the day. Toys and learning materials in classrooms are open-ended (with multiple uses) so kids can explore their imaginations. Who says trucks have to roll? Putting a car on a toy scale helps children learn about cause and effect, and other foundational math and science concepts. (And they don’t even know they’re doing some Capital “L” Learning!)

6. Take time to craft outside the box.
Sometimes there’s no such thing as too much glue! Part of being a great artist is doing what you want and not playing by the rules. In art activities, KinderCare teachers provide children with lots of different materials and let them decide how they want to be creative. This kind of independent thinking builds critical — thinking skills and self-reliance. In KinderCare classrooms, kids are encouraged to think outside the box. It’s all about the process, not the product.

7. Eat your fruits and veggies.
She thinks she’s just playing grocery store, but she’s also learning about healthy eating through dramatic play. But KinderCare centers have more than just pretend fruits and veggies in their centers! Their Nutrition and Wellness philosophy makes it all the way to kids’ plates, where meals are accompanied by fruits, veggies, and whole grains. KinderCare centers never serve a drop of juice because fruit is sweet enough to eat.

8. Caring for each other is key.
When children pretend to take care of a baby, they’re actually developing critical social skills that will help them become kind and empathetic friends later on. That’s why everyone at KinderCare believes in nurturing kindness in all kids, starting from day one. Each center has plenty of baby dolls, toys, and learning materials that represent all children—it’s okay to play with whatever you want, whoever you are!

9. Yes — you can do it!
Developing fine-motor skills starts with simple toys — exactly what kids need when they’re just learning to solve problems and get those oh-so-cute little fingers to do what they want. Though they may seem “easy,” simple toys teach little kids that they can take on a challenge — and succeed. By working through the toy with an adult by their side who can ask questions like “What color goes next?” and “Which one fits?”, children also develop important language and literacy skills.

10. When in doubt, act it out.
Kids have big feelings—and sometimes those feelings can be tough to cope with. Enter the family of adorable classroom puppets, who make everything just a little less personal. If a child is having a hard time learning a behavior used in a social situation (sharing, for example), puppets are a great tool to help kids understand without making them feel bad. KinderCare teachers also use puppets to help kids learn how to manage and express their feelings in a positive way. Each KinderCare center has lots of puppets for teachers to use as tools for learning and storytelling — but when teachers aren’t using them, they’re available for kids to play with whenever they want.

To learn more about KinderCare Learning Centers, visit them online at, on Facebook or on Twitter. For resources, information, and activity ideas for parents and teachers of young children, visit the KinderCare Blog.

This post is sponsored by KinderCare Learning Centers, however, I only promote programs, places, and services that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.

1 Comment

Filed under Babies, Child Care, Daycare, DC, Educational, Guest Post, Preschoolers, Schools, Sponsored Post, Toddlers

Bright Horizons Early Education & Preschool Center Opening in Bethesda this Fall

[Note: This is a sponsored Guest Post contributed by the staff at Bright Horizons Early Education and Preschool®.]

Bright Horizons Early Education and Preschool® is excited to announce that we are growing in the DC Metro area! Our newest center is opening this fall in Bethesda, MD. Bright Horizons at Democracy Center will offer engaging programs for children 6 weeks to 6 years old and will be open year-round from 7am to 6:30pm. The center is conveniently located just off the I-270 corridor and just one mile from the I-495, the Capital Beltway.

This brand new center will offer:
· Age-specific classroom learning environments
· Two indoor movement spaces with structured movement curriculum
· Beautiful shaded playground, sport court, and access to acres of green space
· 21st century technology including SMART Board and touch screen computers
· Strong parent/teacher partnerships and communication, including real time updates right to your mobile device

Our innovative The World At Their Fingertips curriculum empowers children to become confident, successful, lifelong learners and secure, caring people. We keep the whole child in mind, ensuring we use these formative early years to help children develop a strong foundation of skills and foster a love of learning.

Through projects, play, and pursuit of child-led interests, teachers ensure children have diverse and robust experiences that do more than prepare children academically. We integrate all areas of development, striving to develop children who see the world as an invitation to learn, grow, and live fully; who are resilient and joyful members of our community; and who approach school and life with confidence, competence, and an eagerness to explore.

Center Director Natalie Newell is a dedicated Early Childhood Education professional with over 10 years of experience in the DC Metro area. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Human Development and a master’s degree in Education. Natalie lives in Maryland with her young family and is looking forward to opening our new center this fall.

We are accepting registrations for fall enrollment now, so please contact the center to learn more. We hope to see you at an upcoming event!

Follow us on Facebook to stay up to date on events and opportunities at Bright Horizons at Democracy Center.

This post is sponsored by Bright Horizons Early Education and Preschool®, however, I only promote programs, places, and services that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2018, Babies, Child Care, Daycare, Educational, Guest Post, Maryland, Preschoolers, Professional Service, Schools, Sponsored Post, Toddlers

Bright Horizons Free Family Workshop Series: Family Resources, Tips, At-home Learning Activities, and Parent Conversations

Join Bright Horizons® and early childhood education experts as they discuss important topics relevant to your family. Their Family Workshop series provides informative and expert childhood development tips, research, resources, and fun at home activities to help you and your family navigate the many stages of childhood development and parenting issues you may be facing.

All of the workshops in this series will be hosted at Bright Horizons‘ new state-of-the-art center in Reston, VA, from 
5:30-6:30pm. You are welcome to participate in one or all of the workshops. There is no cost to register — all wrkshops are FREE!


February 16 – Raising a Healthy Eater

Get tips and strategies to support you in raising healthy eaters. This session will address some of your burning questions about how to handle the pickiest eaters, child nutrition facts, kid-friendly recipes, how and when to introduce new foods to your child, and how to create healthy meals that fit into a working parent lifestyle.

March 16 – School Readiness: Beyond the Basics

School readiness is so much more than knowing colors, shapes, and ABC’s. A school-ready child is engaged, eager to learn, willing and able to follow directions, and happily adjusted to group life in a classroom setting. Llearn how early classroom experiences shape your child, build confidence, provide skills for school success and how you can extend this learning at home.

April 20 – Teaching Empathy in Young Children

Raising children to be socially aware, community oriented, charitable minded, and educated about their world is more vital than ever in today’s global society. This workshop will discuss how social responsibility and empathy develops as your child grows; bridging family, school, and community life; and meaningful activities your family can do together to make a difference in your community and in the world.

Click here to learn more and RSVP for any and all of the FREE events you would like to join.

Bright Horizons will also be hosting a Spring Open House March 20-24, 2017 from 8am – 12pm. 
This is an opportunity to stop in, meet the teachers, tour the new state-of-the-art center, and learn more about the early care and education.

Workshop Series Location
Bright Horizons at Commerce Metro

11400 Commerce Park Dr. Suite R140
Reston, VA

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Bright Horizons, however, I only promote events, programs, and places that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Babies, Child Care, Class, Daycare, Educational, Preschoolers, School Event, Sponsored Post, Virginia

The Weekend Round-Up: January 8-10

There will be beautiful music to accompany the art on Saturday

There will be beautiful music to accompany the art on Saturday

With the hubbub of the holidays completely over, it’s time to delve into some 2016 fun! Happy Weekend!

NSO in Your Neighborhood Museum
Where: Smithsonian American Art Museum
When: Saturday, all day & 7:30pm
Admission: Free

The annual program that brings free chamber music, orchestral concerts, and educational events throughout a different neighborhood each year is back, this time in Penn Quarter. The American Art Museum will be one of the hosting venues on Saturday with family programming all day, including an instrument petting zoo, a concert for children, and pop-up performances leading up to the grand finale – an evening concert by the full orchestra in the Kogod Courtyard!

Health & Fitness Expo
Where: Washington Convention Center
When: Saturday, 9am – 5pm & Sunday, 9am – 4pm
Admission: Free

NBC’s annual exposition celebrates healthy living at the Washington Convention Center all weekend. There will be free health screenings, exercise and dance demos, opportunities to try new sports, giveaways, and lactivities especially for kids. The Convention Center is located at 901 Mount Vernon Place, NW. Metered street parking and garages are nearby, and you can take the Metro’s yellow line to the Mount Vernon stop.

Open House
Where: Royalty Learning Center
When: Saturday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Looking for early education options for your little one? Royalty Learning Center in Maryland is hosting an Open House on Saturday, where you can learn more about their programs that focus on education and uniqueness of each child. Meet the director and lead teachers, tour the center, and gain insight into their curriculum. Children are welcome, too! Light refreshments will be served.

Summer Camp Sampler
Where: Imagination Stage
When: Saturday, 9:45am – 12:45pm
Admission: Free

Get an up-close and personal taste of what summer camp is like at Imagination Stage – they promise you’ll have a blast! Sample camps are 20 minutes long, with the exception of longer drop-off Musical Production. Parents are encouraged to join the samplers for children in grades 2 or younger. Parents of campers in grades 3 or older are welcome to observe the sampler, but not required. Register for a sample class here.

Gustafer Yellowgold
Where: Jammin’ Java
When: Saturday, 10:30am
Admission: $10

The “cross between ‘Yellow Submarine’ and Dr. Seuss” is back with his unique multi-media performance of live music, animated illustrations, and storytelling. Plan to dine along with the show — the full lunch and drink menu will be available.

NSO Kinderclassics: Break it Down
Where: Kennedy Center
When: Saturday, 11am & 1:30pm
Tickets: $20

If your kids love to tinker, they’ll enjoy this high-energy concert, where they delight in dissecting the pieces and parts of music and instruments! There will also be pre-show fun in the Hall of States: Starting an hour before the concert, a Musical Instrument “Petting Zoo” gives children a chance to get up close with the instruments they’ll see played on stage, from violins and trumpets to oboes and flutes. Recommended for ages 4 and up.

Star Wars on the Really Big Screen
Where: Air & Space Museum & Udvar-Hazy Center
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $15/adult, $13.50/child

If you haven’t seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens yet (or if you have and are ready for a repeat), Smithsonian’s IMAX theaters are easily among the best places in the area to view them. Some of the key sequences of the film were shot using IMAX cameras, the highest-resolution cameras in the world, so only in IMAX theaters will those scenes expand vertically to fill the entire screen for a truly immersive experience. (Plus, Star Wars in the museums that showcase space!)

Ice It
Where: Local Ice Skating Rinks
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by rink

Get out and glide. Enjoy art as you skate at the Sculpture Garden; circle the rink at Washington Harbour; meander the paths at Canal Park; or do some holiday shopping then skate at Pentagon Row, Veteran’s Plaza, Rockville Town Square, or Reston Town Center. This post has details on alfresco (and indoor) ice skating options in the area. And note that both at Canal Park and Washington Harbor are hosting Cartoon Skate on Saturday morning!

Rock Creek Explorations
Where: Peirce Mill
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

Get a glimpse of Rock Creek Park’s past on a visit to the historic Peirce Mill. Tour three-levels of 19th-century machinery and find out water from the creek powered the mill to make flour and meal. Plan on some hiking, too — the site is situated right next to a couple of nice trails. This new post has details on an outing there.

Snow White
Where: Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Tickets: $15/adult, $10/child

Take your kids to see other kids perform as Encore Stage & Studio theatre brings a fairytale classic to the stage. Their signature by kids for kids is great for young audiences. This show is recommended for ages 4 and up, and there are a few performances throughout the weekend.

InterAct Story Theatre
Where: Wheaton Library
When: Saturday, 11am
Admission: Free

Enjoy the 4th installment of Wheaton Family Theatre Series as Arianna Ross and Story Tapestries with “The Giggling, Wiggling Book Worm,” a dynamic arts and literacy program for all ages. Combining a dramatic live storytelling performance with an engaging post-performance literacy workshop for kids and families, Arianna and fellow Story Tapestries artist Suzanne Richard leads guests in a literary adventure. Kids and adults alike will dance, sing, wiggle, and giggle as their inner bookworms read, write, draw, dance, and make music about new, exciting stories.

On the Imagination Stage
Where: Imagination Stage
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Tickets start at $14

This weekend is the last chance to catch A Year with Frog & Toad at the Bethesda theatre — the musical inspired by the acclaimed children’s books is coming to a close. The youngest audiences will enjoy Wake Up, Brother Bear that includes hands-on activities along with the performance.

Jonathan Blum Retrospective
Where: Caos Gallery
When: Sunday, 12-6pm
Admission: Free

I love the work of Jonathan Blum and wanted to give him and his retrospective exhibit a shout-out. You may be aware of his art – the DC native now residing in Brooklyn occasionally sells his whimsical portraits (often of half-faces or animals sitting on serious heads) at Eastern Market and has some hanging in venues around town. Go to shop his art, or just to enjoy viewing it – kids will appreciate the fanciful faces just as much as you.

The Day the Dinosaurs Came to Noyes
Where: Kensington Town Hall
When: Sunday, 3-5pm
Admission: $15/family donation requested

Join the Noyes Children’s Library Foundation for a fantastic family event featuring dino-mite activities and crafts, plus a theater workshop by the teaching artists of Imagination Stage, based on the book “How Do Dinosaurs Learn to Read?” RSVP on the Noyes Facebook page.

NSO Goes Undercover
Where: International Spy Museum
When: Sunday, 4-5pm
Admission: Free

So, they may not be undercover, but members of the National Symphony Orchestra will again be playing in a different context as part of the NSO In Your Neighborhood program. A small ensemble will perform an espionage-themed concert for this family-friendly event. And patrons who attend this one will also receive a coupon for $5 off the price of admission to visit the museum’s exhibits!

Wizards vs. Raptors
Where: Verizon Center
When: Friday, 7pm
Admission: Ticket prices vary

Start the weekend with some hoops action as the Wizards host Toronto. And the Verizon Center is within the NSO in Your Neighborhood area, so expect a pre-game bonus: Members from the National Symphony Orchestra will be performing during the warm-ups!

Caps vs. Senators
Where: Verizon Center
When: Sunday, 7pm
Admission: Ticket prices vary

There will be some extra Senators in DC on Sunday as the Caps host Ottowa’s hockey team at the Verizon Center. And you can get a T-shirt along with seats to view the action on ice through from Certifikid.

Leave a Comment

Filed under All ages, Annual, Art, Child Care, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Movies, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Park, Preschoolers, School Event, Seasonal, Sports, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend, Winter