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 independent private non-profit corporations, with oversight by parent boards. Each center provides a unique learning experience and is held to the highest standards of quality. The NIH Child and Family Programs office has set up a system to ensure the centers consistently provide care that adheres to Maryland State Department of Education, Office of Child Care Licensing regulations and meets the accreditation standards of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).
The NIH Child and Family Programs office does not have responsibility for the day-to-day business administration of the child care centers; including financial, administrative software tools, and management of administrative and child care staff. For more information about the NIH sponsored Child Care Centers, please 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, the back-up care program for children, adults and self, the Parenting Listserv, and Lunch and Learn webinars on child development and parenting topics.
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 Child Care Centers 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 Adventist HealthCare/LifeWork Strategies to oversee and administer a centralized waitlist for the three NIH sponsored child care centers located in Montgomery County, Maryland. Please note that these centers are often fully enrolled with extensive waitlists.
Effective early May 2022:
Spaces are made available in the following priority order:
- NIH Federal Employees and Trainees/Fellows are given first priority for space at the three Maryland Child Care Centers.
- If additional spaces are available, second priority is given to Federal Employees of Other Federal Agencies.
- Remaining spaces (preschool only) may then be offered to NIH Contractors who work at an NIH facility located in Maryland.
- NIH Volunteers, Guest Researchers and Tenants are not eligible to enroll their children in the NIH Child Care Centers.
When NIH federal employees, trainees/fellows and contractors separate employment from the NIH,* access to the NIH Child Care Centers will end. (*NIH federal employees who separate from the NIH but are employed by another federal agency may change their waitlist profile to reflect Other Federal Agency employment.)
Please take a moment to read the Frequently Asked Questions
for the Waitlist, Decline Policy, Child Care Centers, and Enrollment Process to learn more about the centralized NIH Child Care Waitlist.
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 the NIH. The Team monitors and ensures quality assurance within each NIH sponsored child care center as well as compliance with the NIH Use Agreement held by each child care program. If you have additional questions or need more information, please call the NIH Child and Family Programs team at 301-827-3250.