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Top Questions

Will my child be prepared for Kindergarten?

Yes! Each Bright Horizons center uses The World at Their Fingertips: Education for Bright Horizons, our specially-designed Curriculum that creates developmentally, culturally, and individually Appropriate learning environments in which your child can learn and prepare for academic success. The World at Their Fingertips is designed to teach children to think for themselves, solve problems, communicate, work with others and gain an increasing understanding of how the world works. Recent studies have shown that children who have attended Bright Horizons centers are extremely well-prepared for school.

What are contract hours?

The center is open for 12 hours daily (6:30 A.M. -6:30 P.M.). There are two care options, 10 hours of care daily and 12 hours of care daily. Each family chooses an option and each option cost a different rate. If you choose the 10 hour option, your family will choose 10 hours a day of which you will be able to use the center (for example 8-6-we will not staff for your child to be at the center any earlier then 8 or any later then 6, though the center is still open). If you choose the 12-hour option, you will be contracted for the full day (6:30a-6:30p).

How can I obtain information about tuition?

Tuition varies by center, schedule and by individual classroom. To find out more information about tuition, please contact the center directly.

What is NAEYC accreditation?

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has developed standards to define and recognize quality child care programs. In order to be accredited, a child care program must meet a variety of strict criteria, including having a well-trained faculty, good staff-child ratios and group sizes, and a comprehensive curriculum, as well as meet stringent health and safety standards. The program must also provide meaningful opportunities for family involvement.

Where can I learn more about other Bright Horizons locations?

To find other locations, please visit www.brighthorizons.com/locator.

Is there parking?

Yes. There is a garage located directly underneath the building. If you are using the garage for drop-off and/or pick-up there are four, free spaces in the Garage on level G2. These spaces are 20 minute parking only. If you are coming to the center for a tour or a parent conference/event, we recommend parking in a paid space to ensure that you are not ticketed. There are numbered spaces in the garage. Remember your number and pay at the pay kiosks or using the parking app. The payment is $1 per hour.

Is there a waitlist? How long? How do I get on it?

There is currently a waitlist for all age groups.

The average wait time varies depending on the age of your child, center priority, when you are looking for care and when you registered. We recommend that you call the center directly to discuss specific wait times. An estimate for Infants is usually 12-18 months, 6-12 months for toddlers, and 6-9 months for twos and preschool. These are just average waits and again, may be different when weighing variables discussed above.

To get on the waitlist we recommend that you come to the center for a tour first. You would then fill out a Pre-Enrollment Registration Form (which can be found in the documents section) and turn that in with a check for $150. This fee is non-refundable.

What is your inclement weather policy?

1. In the event of inclement weather the center will be closed if the Federal Government/NOAA is closed.
2. If the Federal Government/NOAA observes a Liberal Leave Policy or Unscheduled Leave, the center will open 1 hour late. If the Federal Government observes Liberal Leave but Montgomery County Government is closed, the center will be closed.
3. If the Federal Government/NOAA is opening late, we will similarly open late.
4. If the Federal Government/NOAA closes early, we will close 1 hour after.

I'm not quite ready to enroll in the center but I am interested in continuing to hear about what is happening at the center. How can I get information more regularly?

We encourage any family interested in center information, regular updates and invitations to the many events we are planning, to contact us.

What if I’d like to enroll but the center doesn’t have space available?

We suggest you register with Bright Horizons.  You can select up to 3 locations to be registered at, including the center you are most interested in.  By registering, you are confirming your strong interest in all 3 centers.  We will add you to our wait list and you will be offered a space as soon as one becomes available.  While waiting for a space to become available at your first choice location, many families will choose to enroll at their 2nd or 3rd choice temporarily until space becomes available at the center they are most interested in.  In many centers, a child currently enrolled at a Bright Horizons location has priority over the general community so enrolling at another location will not only solve your care needs but will also give you additional priority in getting into your 1st preference.  Our goal is to accommodate families as soon as space allows.  During the entire process, we will keep in touch with you regarding your status.

How is payment due?

The center charges tuition on a monthly basis. Payment is due in advance of service on the 25th of the prior month.

We do not accept credit cards, only check or money order. We also offer automatic deduction from a checking or savings account using an ACH account (EasyDraft).

Do you offer Part Time Care?

We do not offer Part day care, but we do offer part week. This option is called Share Care.

What is Shared Care?
A share care arrangement is one full-time enrollment spot, which is shared by two children who attend on different days of the week, in one room, to equal the full time spot. Shared care is offered in a 2/3 or a 1/4-day split. Each family pays a prorated tuition fee along with a tuition surcharge. Shared Care is the only part-time enrollment arrangement Little Explorers at NOAA offers.

Do you offer discounts?

We currently offer a discount if you have three children enrolled in the program. The discount would be applied to the oldest child's tuition and would be 10%.

Do you accept WPA or POC vouchers? Do you have any subsidy programs?

No, we do not accept vouchers of any kind.

Our Board offers some tuition assistance. This assistance is provided based on the amount of money the board has received from fundraising and based on family need.

Do you accept community enrollment?

Yes we do. We have a priority system in place.
1. Siblings of children who have been enrolled in the program for 6 months or more.
2. NOAA Employees
3. Federal Employees
4. Community Families

Can I visit my child at the center anytime I’d like to?

Yes, Bright Horizons has an open door policy.  You are encouraged to visit your child anytime.

Are all staff trained in CPR and First Aid?

All Bright Horizons staff are trained regularly in CPR, even if not required by the state. First Aid is taught as required by state licensing agency/regulations so that you can feel confident that your child is safe and receiving the best care possible at our center.

Can I have directions to the center?

Bright Horizons @ NOAA
1315 East West Highway, Terrace Level
Building 3
Silver Spring, MD 20910
(301) 713-2657

From the Metro: The NOAA center is located on the red line at the Silver Spring stop. Once exiting the metro make a left and walk under the metro over pass. Make a left onto the path directly after the end of the overpass and follow it between the two buildings. When the path ends at East West Highway make a left and walk up East West Highway until you reach a large sculpture of a hand. That is our building. Enter the building and take the elevator to floor number 1. Get off the elevator and look for glass doors to the terrace. Go out the doors and walk to the right until you reach the center.

From North of Silver Spring: Take 95 to 495 towards Silver Spring. Get off at the exit for Colesville Rd (Rt 29) towards Silver Spring. Follow Colesville Rd for approximately 3 miles. When you pass the Silver Spring Metro Station East West Highway will be at the next light. Make a left onto East West Highway. You will see four large office buildings on your left this is the NOAA complex. We are in building three; there is a large hand sculpture in front of our building. The garage entrance is just beyond the hand. Turn in find a space with a parking meter (some spaces are metered and some are permit only), these spaces are primarily located on G2, G3, and G4. Take the elevator to floor number 1. Get off the elevator and look for glass doors to the terrace. Go out the doors and walk to the right until you reach the center.

From 270: Take 270 to 495 towards Silver Spring. Get on 495. Get off at the exit for Georgia Ave towards Silver Spring. Follow Georgia for approximately 1/2 mile. Make a right on 16th street. Follow 16th Street until you get to the light for East West Highway (about ½ mile). Make a left onto East West Highway. Follow East West through one light you will see four large office buildings on your left this is the NOAA complex. We are in building three; there is a large hand sculpture in front of our building. The garage entrance is just beyond the hand. Turn in find a space with a parking meter (some spaces are metered and some are permit only), these spaces are primarily located on G2, G3, and G4. Take the elevator to floor number 1. Get off the elevator and look for glass doors to the terrace. Go out the doors and walk to the right until you reach the center.

What is the relationship between Bright Horizons and The Partnership for a Healthier America?

For more information about this relationship, click here.

What is Bright Horizons' process on checking the background of their employees?

Bright Horizons conducts a comprehensive background check on all prospective employees and frequent visitors. The background check consists of a county criminal record check for the past seven years performed in all counties that a person has lived, worked or attended school. In addition to the county criminal search , a sex offender search, OFAC search and a social security verification trace are also conducted. For all location employees, program licensing background checks required by the state are also performed.

I'm interested in applying for a job at this center. Is there someone I can contact?

For job listings and to complete the application process, please visit www.brighthorizons.com/careers.

Does the center take children on field trips?

We do occassionally plan field trips for preschool age children. These trips are usually in the surrounding area where the children can walk or take public transportation, for example, the Zoo. If a field trip is planned all families must sign off on permission slips. Adult to child ratios also change to 1:2, requiring parent volunteers.

We prefer to have vendors come into the center for all age groups as oppossed to planning field trips. For example, we usually have the Baltimore Zoo, the Baltimore Aquarium and Blue Sky Puppet Theater come to do shows at the center at least twice a year.

Finally, we have found it more organized and fun for families to sponsor "Family Days" at a location, such as the Pumpkin Farm, as oppossed to taking a field trip there, that way the whole family can enjoy the event together and get to know other families.

What is the center's child illness policy?

Bright Horizons' policy on child illness is based on the Model Health Care Policies developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Mild illness is common among children. Children spread infections before showing any symptomes, therefore there is no purpose in exclusion if the child can be kept comfortable and participate in daily activities. Exclusion from the center is sometimes necessary to reduce the transmission of illness or because we are not adequately able to meet the needs of a sick child (to see specific circumstances, view the child illness policy in full in the documents section).

If your child is sent home ill, you will have 90 minutes to arrange for pick-up. Your child may not return to the center until they are symptom free for 24 hours or cleared from a physicain with written notice.

What holidays does the center observe/close?

The center closes when the Federal Government is closed. In addition, we close for four Professional Development Days a year.

What are the educational goals of Bright Horizons?

Comprehensive, optimum development of each child: mind, body, social self, and character.

Preparation for Success in Life

  • Approaching life as an invitation to learn
  • Becoming a confident and competent lifelong learner
  • Becoming a confident and competent user of technology
  • Developing emotional intelligence: personal power and social skills

Preparation for Academic Excellence

  • Developing the social and cognitive skills necessary for school success
  • Achieving excellence in language and literacy
  • Developing an engaged, reflective, inquisitive mind and appreciation of science
  • Achieving excellence in logical/mathematical understanding



A Rich and Rewarding Childhood

  • Happy days
  • Wonderful relationships
  • A World of experience

What is The World At Their Fingertips?

Bright Horizons curriculum, The World at Their Fingertips, is our unique curriculum designed to engage children in active learning that prepares them for school while helping them achieve their individual potential and fostering a spirit of community. It includes curriculum elements such as Language Works, Math Counts, Science Rocks, ArtSmart, Our World and Well Aware that cross all age groups. For more on information on our curriculum, click here.

What is the center's policy on discipline?

Bright Horizons' policy consistently emphasizes basic respect for the individual child. Young children are striving for understanding, independance, and self-control. Children learn exploring, experimenting and testing limits of their environment and expereinceing the consequences of their behavior. In this way, they begin to understand how the world works, their own limits, and appropriate assertiveness. Children learn self-control and how the world works in a relaxed, positive atmosphere of support and understanding that recognizes the child's struggle. Adults should view discipline as an important aspect of teaching and learning, but accept children as they are. Development is viewed as a growth process, with each age and stage having its own characteristics, its own challenges and needs. Through positive guidance of behavior and modeling, the faculty helps children to feel good about themselves and to behave in responsible ways.

Bright Horizons requires teachers to:
*Provide realistic expectations for children's behavior.
*Create a "Yes" environement.
*Model appropriate behavior
*Encourage children's self-esteem
*Provide children with oppurtunities and alternatives to change a destructive situation into a constructive one
*Use natural and logical consequences
*Encourage pro-social behaviors such as cooperating, negotiating, and problem solving

Why does the center use mixed age grouping in the preschool classrooms?

Bright Horizons beleives in the benefits of mixed age groupings. Mixed age groups allow children to experience a family style setting of which every one is not the same age. There are numerous social as well as cognitive benefits of the mix, including learning from or teaching peers.

Are Bright Horizons child care centers open?

While many of our centers are temporarily closed, we have shifted our focus to providing child care in the areas where our help is most needed. Because of this, we have established hub centers to support critical workers who are on the front line in the fight against COVID-19, including healthcare workers, scientists and researchers, and first responders. Our hub centers are serving our enrolled families and welcoming new ones who are supporting these critical needs. If you’d like to learn more about where our hubs are located, simply call our Family Support team at: 833-224-7078.

When will you reopen closed centers?

It is our true privilege to care for and educate children, and we look forward to welcoming everyone back into our center again as soon as we are able. We will follow the direction of local health departments, state authorities, and the CDC to make those decisions for each center and each community.

Where have you established your new childcare hubs?

Our hubs are in Massachusetts, where Bright Horizons is headquartered, and several other cities across the country, including New York, Seattle, and Northern California. They are in areas close to hospitals and healthcare systems where there is tremendous need for child care for parents are working on the front lines of the COVID-19 response. Our hub centers are serving our enrolled families and welcoming new ones who are supporting these critical needs. If you’d like to learn more about where our hubs are located, simply call our Family Support team at: 833-224-7078.

What is your current COVID-19 center policy?

Bright Horizons’ priority continues to be the health and safety of the children and staff at our centers. Each decision, policy, and procedure is based on recommendations from our panel of medical experts, guidance from the CDC, and direction from local health authorities.

We have put in place multiple precautionary measures. First and foremost, a household member must remain out of the center for 14 days following the last potential exposure, if any member of your household has (or has been in close contact with anyone who has):

  • a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 (for example – close contact at school, work, religious service, social gathering); or
  • recently returned from a Level 3 area, as designated by the CDC

If, at the end of this 14-day period, no household member has experienced any symptoms, their return to the center is allowed. Depending on the circumstances, we may require you to obtain medical clearance before returning to the center will be allowed.

How does Bright Horizons ensure the cleanliness of centers?

At all of our centers, rigorous health and safety practices are a foundation of the way we care for children. Food preparation surfaces, eating utensils and dishes, tables & highchairs, computer keyboards, mixed use surfaces, changing tables, and potties are all sanitized after each use. Floors, diaper pails, countertops, sinks, fountains, door and cabinet handles and plastic toys are all sanitized daily. Sanitizing measures are also be applied to our playground equipment. Centers and playgrounds are receiving special cleanings as needed. At the heart of it all is a rigorous support of handwashing practices for our staff and the children in our care.

We have also established enhanced safety protocols for families to follow during this time:

  • At both pick-up and drop-off, parents must use provided hand sanitizer or disinfectant wipes outside each classroom door to clean their hands and their child’s hands.
  • Parents are not allowed to enter the classrooms at pick-up and drop-off. A teacher will meet parents at the door to bring the child into and out of the center.
  • Parents must wipe down the check-in kiosk after checking their child in and out of the center.

How are you supporting teachers at centers that are closing?

Our teachers have our full support always. We want our teachers to know how important their work is, and many will be encouraged to work in our hub centers and our back-up child care network. We have also enhanced sick time and, during these temporary closures, we expect to pay teachers who cannot work in hub centers or back-up care through a transition notice period while we develop additional support systems for them. Teachers will also continue to have access to our free teacher degree program during this time so they can pursue their associate and bachelor’s degree online at no cost to them.

What if one of the center staff is suspected as having COVID-19 or are under self-isolation after a family withdraws from the center, will they be notified?

We will continue to follow CDC protocol, which indicates that information will be shared with families who may have been exposed to a potential COVID-19 risk. Should we determine that a staff member has a confirmed case of COVID-19 and was exposed to children or parents during the 14-day incubation period, we will notify our families at that center.

Are center teachers considered essential workers?

Those working in child care have been designated essential in nearly every state with a Stay at Home order, particularly if they are providing care for the children of other essential employees.

How will center directors be affected by these changes?

All of our center staff will benefit from our new Bridge program, designed to support directors and center staff through this temporary closure.  Through the Bridge program, directors will have access to work opportunities and will remain employees of Bright Horizons.

How can I work with my child to practice good hygiene?

Our regular health and hygiene practices provide some of the best defenses against the spread of most contagious illnesses. In addition to regular and thorough cleaning of classrooms, surfaces and toys, we teach children good hand-washing practices and ensure that children and staff take important precautions against the spread of germs. You can work with your children to practice some of these same steps at home:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water – use this step-by-step guide to help
  • Sneeze or cough into your elbow; or cover mouth and nose with a tissue before sneezing or coughing, then immediately discard the tissue. Print out this handy visual to show children how.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are ill
  • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, especially if someone is sick

Does Bright Horizons offer at home learning and educational activities for children?

With many of our centers temporarily closed, we’ve created Bright Horizons® World at Home, a new way to keep children learning and to support families in these times. Designed by our education team to bring some of the very best learning from our centers right into your homes, the World at Home will feature videos and activities for every age group and for each of our curriculum areas. We’ll also have resources just for parents, including 30-minute live Q&A webinars. Check back for new World at Home content weekly on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. It’s all to give you the tools, inspiration, and structure you need to create learning experiences for your family right at home.

What are the educational goals of Bright Horizons?

During your search for the perfect child care partner, this is among the most important questions you can ask.  For over 30 years, we’ve been a company that is guided by our HEART Principles and an unerring belief in putting children first. 

At Bright Horizons, we know that childhood is a treasured time. We believe it is our responsibility to provide environments and experiences that capture the joys of childhood, nurture each child’s individual growth and development, and pave the way for success in school and life. We promise to:

  • Nurture and care for the whole child
  • Craft and integrated curriculum based on expert research
  • Support and develop each teacher
  • Implement an emergent, inquiry-based approach to learning
  • Cultivate curiosity and creativity through projects, exploration, and play
  • Encourage children to be confident experimenters and problem solvers
  • Build an inclusive and respectful community
  • Create joyful places for childhood

What is your policy regarding pictures/videos of my child(ren)?

The decision to allow for a child’s picture to be taken at a Bright Horizons facility is at the discretion of the family. Some families allow pictures to be used strictly within the classroom (i.e. to label cubbies), some allow pictures to be used both internally and externally (i.e. for our center-wide website), and still others do not allow pictures of their children to be taken at any time - no exceptions. In any case, we will respect your rights and your decision. To learn more about our policy, please see our Bright Horizons Photography & Walking Permission Slip.

Can children with special needs enroll in a Bright Horizons center?

Yes! Bright Horizons strives to and has successfully accommodated a wide range of special needs and individual differences in our group programs.  We believe in inclusive programs that attempt to meet the needs of a wide range of children and which focus on each child’s strengths. We support a collaborative team approach – the teacher, director, specialists, and parents. The team will work closely together to try to maximize each child’s opportunities for learning, growth, and development, and to attempt to eliminate any barriers or safety issues which a group program may present.

What is Bright Horizons' process on checking the background of their employees?

Bright Horizons conducts a comprehensive background check on all prospective employees and frequent visitors. The background check consists of a county criminal record check for the past seven years performed in all counties that a person has lived, worked or attended school. In addition to the county criminal search, a sex offender search, OFAC search and a social security verification trace are also conducted. For all location employees, program licensing background checks required by the state are also performed.

Does Bright Horizons perform background checks on its employees?

The safety of the children in our care is our highest concern.  Bright Horizons maintains stringent hiring practices and conducts criminal background checks on all teachers and caregivers in our centers. This check includes a criminal record search and a cross-reference check to determine prior convictions or other records of criminal activity that would call into question an employee’s’ suitability to care for children. Additional elements of our required background checks include verification through the Office of Foreign Asset Control and Sexual Offender Database Search. The frequency for updating criminal background checks for employees depends on state or other center-specific requirements.

Can I visit my child at the center anytime I’d like to?

Yes, you are welcome to visit your child at the center whenever you’d like!  Whether your child is an infant new to group care or a thriving preschooler, anxious to show off their latest project, Bright Horizons has an open door policy for parents. We encourage you to stop by and get involved in your child’s day.

What is The World At Their Fingertips?

Our research-based World at Their Fingertips® curriculum meets children where they are developmentally, with Signature Practices that build confidence and excitement about learning at every age and stage. In every classroom, our goal is to help children do more than learn; it’s to cultivate the joy of learning. And our emergent approach — teaching skills by leveraging a child’s own interests — enables teachers to tailor activities and projects for the specific talents and needs of each child in the class. Learn more about our specialized programs for babies, toddlers and preschool children, and how we prepare children for school and life beyond

Are all staff trained in CPR and First Aid?

All Bright Horizons center staff are trained in CPR and first aid.  Once an employee is hired, they are required to fulfill 16 hours of training through our new employee orientation. This training takes place over a two-day period, where the employee spends time observing each age group in the center. Teachers must successfully complete first aid and CPR training, in addition to local licensing and/or Department of Health requirements (e.g., food handler safety card.)

I'm interested in applying for a job at this center. Is there someone I can contact?

Absolutely!  Named one of Fortune Magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For”  18 times, we are proud of the environment we create for our educators.  We are always looking for great teachers, and offer competitive benefits  and innovative programs. like our Horizons Teacher Degree program.  For job listings and to complete the application process, please visit the Bright Horizons jobs and careers page at www.brighthorizons.com/careers . 

Where can I learn more about other Bright Horizons locations?

We have many centers across the US, and each center reflects the unique personality of its leadership and community.  To find the best fit for you and your family find a child care center near you.

I'm not quite ready to enroll in the center but I am interested in continuing to hear about what is happening at the center. How can I get information more regularly?

We encourage any family interested in center information, regular updates and invitations to the many events we are planning, to contact us.

What is NAEYC accreditation?

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has developed standards to define and recognize quality child care programs. In order to be accredited, a child care program must meet a variety of strict criteria, including having a well-trained faculty, good staff-child ratios and group sizes, and a comprehensive curriculum, as well as meet stringent health and safety standards. The program must also provide meaningful opportunities for family involvement.

What is the relationship between Bright Horizons and The Partnership for a Healthier America?

Read more information about this relationship.

What if I’d like to enroll but the center doesn’t have space available?

Finding the right daycare and early education solution can be a lengthy process. Our best recommendation is to start early!   Even if your preferred Bright Horizons center doesn’t currently have space available, we still recommend registration for your first choice center.  At Bright Horizons, you can register at up to three locations. Once registered, we will add you to our wait list and you will be offered a space as soon as one is available. For many families on a wait list, Bright Horizons offers the ability to enroll a nearby center on a temporary basis, or until your first choice center becomes available.  If you’d like further advice on how to find the best preschool for your family, take a listen to our webinar on finding a quality preschool program.

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