(WASHINGTON, DC) – Mayor Muriel Bowser today awarded two available child care spaces to CommuniKids and Kiddie University, one space at the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) and the other at the Deanwood Recreation Center. CommuniKids is an award-winning, multi-language immersion school that will provide additional, free pre-K3 and pre-K4 seats to District residents at the University of the District of Columbia, and Kiddie University will provide a Spanish-immersion program that incorporates science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) at the Deanwood Recreation Center.
“As Washington, DC continues to grow, we’re going to continue making the investments necessary to set more young people up for success and give more families the resources they need to thrive,” said Mayor Bowser. “We picked these two providers because their programs take a well-rounded, holistic approach to educating young children.”
CommuniKids is a high-quality, nationally accredited multi-language immersion school that currently provides free pre-K3 and pre-K4 to 40 District students, which they will continue to do at their new location at UDC. With the expansion, CommuniKids will make space for 54 new students and plans to hire 13 new staff. Kiddie University, which has two locations in the District and currently enrolls more than 90 students, plans to enroll 72 new students and hire 20 new staff. In addition to their Spanish immersion and STEM programming, Kiddie University has a unique “Social Club” in which parents, teachers, and community members plan about 10 events each year.
In February, during Education Week, Mayor Bowser announced progress in her Administration’s commitment to create approximately 1,000 new infant and toddler child care seats to better meet the needs of families in Washington, DC. In addition to identifying space in three District-owned buildings to lease to private child care providers, the Mayor also announced that the Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF) would administer the grants to child care providers and provide a $1 to $1 match in capital loans to the District’s $9 million investment. LIIF’s matching funds will help create an estimated 100-200 additional child care seats.
To apply for the space at UDC, applicants had to agree to partner with UDC’s Early Childhood Education certification program to provide students with hands-on training. Additionally, applicants had to pledge to reserve 30 percent of child care seats for the staff and students of UDC.
Mayor Bowser’s FY19 budget includes $12.5 million toward making early child care more affordable for all District residents. The $12.5 million investment includes $2.5 million to create a refundable tax credit of up to $1,000 per child for families enrolled in any licensed DC child care facility and not receiving a child care subsidy and $10 million to increase District payments to local child care providers to ensure they stay open and can create new child care slots for infants and toddlers.
Over the past year, the Bowser Administration has made critical progress in supporting Washington, DC’s youngest learners. The Bowser Administration launched My Child Care DC, a one-stop online resource that helps families find and compare child care options in Washington, DC; increased supports for early childhood educators; expanded the First Step Child Development Associate program; and launched Thrive By Five, a citywide effort to connect more DC families to a wide range of resources that support maternal and child health, behavioral health, and early education.