The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recognizes the important role high quality, affordable and accessible child care plays in the lives of NIH employees. Each of the NIH sponsored child care centers are separate private businesses, operated by parent boards. Each center provides a unique learning experience and is held to the highest standards of quality. The NIH Child Care Program has set up a system to ensure the centers consistently provide care which follows Maryland Child Care Licensing Standards, as well as maintaining accreditation through the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).
The NIH Child Care Program does not have responsibility for the day-to-day business administration of the child care centers; including financial, administrative software tools or management of staff. For more information about NIH sponsored Child Care Centers check out the Frequently Asked Questions.
The NIH sponsored Child Care Centers are only one of the programs
offered for NIH families. Learn more about the child care subsidy program,
back-up care for kids or adults, and the parenting listserv.
NIH Sponsored Child Care Centers:
Click on the different centers below to learn more.
Which Center is Best for Your Family?
Each of the NIH sponsored child care centers provides high quality child care, based on current early childhood best practices. However, each program has its own unique program characteristics and dynamics. Below is a link to a side-by-side comparison chart of the Maryland centers. As a parent, it is up to you to research each center to determine which center would be a good fit for your family. You can obtain additional information by contacting the programs directly to request a tour.
Click to view a side-by-side comparison chart of the NIH Sponsored Child Care Centers located in Montgomery County, Maryland.
NIH Wait List:
The NIH has contracted with LifeWork Strategies. to oversee and administer a consolidated waiting list for the four NIH-sponsored child care centers located in Montgomery County, Maryland.
These centers are often fully enrolled with extensive waiting lists. Spaces are made available in the following priority order:
- Parents and/or legal guardians, who work for the NIH are given first priority for space at the three Maryland Centers.
- If additional spaces are available, second priority is given to federal employees of other federal agencies whose official duty station is an NIH facility/office.
- Remaining spaces may be offered to employees of other federal agencies.
- NIH Contractors, Volunteers, and Guest Researchers are not eligible to use the NIH Child Care Centers.
When NIH employees terminates employment from the NIH or the Federal Government, access to NIH child care will end.
Please take a moment to read the Frequently Asked Questions for the Waiting List, Child Care Centers, and Enrollment Process to learn more about the NIH Wait List.
Inclement Weather - Opening and Closure Procedures for NIH Child Care Centers
NIH Child Care Centers' hours of operation will be modified to ensure that the centers are operating as normally as possible during disruptions of the Federal Government's operations.
Emergency Guide For Parents: NIH Child Care Centers Operation
In an Emergency situation at the NIH, emergency response personnel will make the determination to relocate, evacuate or "shelter in place" the children and staff of the three NIH Child Care Centers located in Montgomery County, Maryland.
Other Federal Child Care Centers
Many other Federal Agencies in the Washington Metropolitan area sponsor on-site child care centers. These centers give priority to all Federal employees
NIH Child and Family Programs Team Responsibilities:
The Child and Family Programs Team functions as the liaison between the child care providers, families receiving care, and NIH. The Team monitors and ensures compliance of NIH Use Agreements and quality assurance within each NIH sponsored child care center and facility.