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Top Questions

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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 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 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 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 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

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 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

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.

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 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.

Are you conducting health screening for those who are entering the center?

Yes, all employees, parents and children will have to pass a daily health screening. The health screening includes a temperature check and a series of COVID-19 related questions that pertain to the individual and their households.

What is your current COVID-19 center policy?

The health and well-being of our families and staff are our highest priorities. In the interest of limiting the opportunity for transmission to our vulnerable community, we are taking the following precautionary measures:

Your household must remain out of the center if any member of your household has (or has been in close contact with anyone who has):

(a)  A suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 (for example – close contact at school, work, religious service, social gathering); or

(b)  Traveled: internationally; or domestically, from any area which is the subject of travel restrictions under applicable state and local guidance.         

 

14 days after the last potential exposure, your household may return provided these three things have happened:

(a)   At least 10 days have passed since any household member first experienced symptoms; and

(b)   Symptoms have improved for any household member that experienced symptoms (for example, cough or shortness of breath has improved); and

(c)    The household has been fever-free for at least 72 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicines.

Please note, depending on the circumstances we may require you to obtain medical clearance before return to the center will be allowed.

What enhanced safety measures have you implemented?

Bright Horizons is trusted by parents around the country – including many doctors and nurses on the frontlines of COVID-19 -- to care for their children. We’ve partnered with pediatric infectious disease specialist Dr. Kristin Moffitt of Boston Children’s Hospital to implement enhanced safety protocols for all areas including daily health screening, distancing, cleaning, and disinfecting. Our goal is to ensure that all of our health and safety practices in every center are in line with recommendations provided by the CDC and requirements of state and local municipalities, and have the well-being of children, families, and staff at their core. For more detailed information, visit: https://www.brighthorizons.com/health-safety

Are all staff required to wear face coverings and gloves during the day?

All employees will be in face coverings while working. Those conducting health screenings will wear gloves while conducting the screenings. Those undertaking disinfection activities will be wearing gloves while disinfecting. Teachers will wear gloves for activities that they wore gloves for in the past; diaper changing and bathroom help, wiping noses, first aid and cleaning. They also wear gloves for preparing and serving food. They will not be required to wear gloves all day.

Are children required or allowed to wear masks while at the center?

Bright Horizons does not permit the use of masks for children unless medically necessary, and the child has demonstrated the ability to wear it safely. To provide a safe and healthy environment, we are relying on our strict exclusion policies for households, our regular health screening, increased disinfection, and social distancing practices. Introducing children in face coverings could quickly render these more proven and effective strategies against the spread of COVID-19 ineffective. We’ve made this decision based on evolving guidance from the CDC, federal, state, and local health agencies, and in consultation with Dr. Kristin Moffitt, pediatric infectious disease specialist from Boston Children’s Hospital. Click here for a video interview with Dr. Moffitt discussing safety in the Bright Horizons child care setting.

Are you allowing prospective parents to visit centers?

Prospective parents are being encouraged to visit via a virtual meeting with the center director.

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.

  • Both staff and children are frequently washing hands throughout the day, including when entering and leaving classrooms.
  • Food preparation surfaces, eating utensils, tables, highchairs, computer keyboards, mixed use surfaces, changing tables, and potties are all sanitized after each use by staff wearing gloves. Floors, diaper pails, countertops, sinks, fountains, door and cabinet handles, and plastic toys are all sanitized daily. Certain high-touch toys such as play-doh are not currently in use.
  • Sanitizing measures will also be applied to our playground equipment. Centers and are receiving special cleanings as needed.
  • 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. Designated staff wash or disinfect hands after escorting each child, before meeting next child.
  • 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, World at Home features videos and activities for every age group in each of our curriculum areas, as well as short webinars on important topics for parents.

    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.

    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.

    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 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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