Mayor Muriel Bowser 

Early Development

With 43 percent of children under age three living in low-income families, the District is working to provide children and their families with the social, emotional and financial resources needed to thrive.

Programs aimed at helping families succeed include:

Early Intervention

Early Stages

Early Stages is a free DC Public Schools assessment center for children between the ages of 2 years 8 months and 5 years 10 months.

Strong Start DC

The Strong Start DC Early Intervention Program serves as the single point of entry for infants and toddlers in Washington, DC whose families have concerns about their development. If you have concerns about your infant or toddler call (202) 727-3665.

Social & Emotional Development

DC Social Emotional and Early Development Project (DC SEED)

DC SEED addresses the behavioral health needs of children ages six years of age and younger at high risk for or diagnosed with emotional or behavioral difficulties and their families. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call the Access Helpline at 1-888-793-4357 or call the Provider Agency directly (Community Connections (202) 465-4065, First Home Care at (202) 737-2554, or Mary’s Center at (202) 846-8053).

Families First

The programs made available through Families First are proven to strengthen family life, improve family functioning and avoid more complex, long-term challenges. Questions for all evidence-based programs under the Families First Project can be directed to Denise Dunbar, at (202) 673-7126 or [email protected].

Help Me Grow

Help Me Grow is a program for children, ages 0-5, who may have developmental or behavioral health needs. The program aims to support families and improve access to resources such as child health and early care and education. For more information, call 1-800-MOM-BABY or Beth White at [email protected].

Healthy Futures

Healthy Futures Program is an early childhood mental health consultation program that works with both Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) staff, children and their families to promote social-emotional well-being and provides early intervention and referral for any social-emotional developmental concerns. For a list of child development centers and more information, contact Barbara Parks at [email protected] or (202) 698-1871.

Parent Infant Early Childhood Program

The Parent Infant Early Childhood Program (PIECE) serves children from birth to seven years of age through an array of services including play and art therapy. The program uses two evidence-based practices: Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), which focuses on the emotional, behavioral and social challenges of young children, and Child Parent Psychotherapy (CPP), which focuses on recovering and healing from stressful and traumatic events. The PIECE Program also works with mothers with mental health challenges, assisting them with parenting skills and connecting with their child. For more information, contact 202-698-1838.

The Primary Project

The Primary Project uses trained staff work with children with mild difficulties adjusting to the school environment. For a list of program sites and more information, contact Monique Douglas at [email protected] or (202) 698-2395 or J’Wan Griffin at [email protected]v or (202) 698-2469.