Bethesda MD is most known for high daycare costs, long waitlists and many more child care centers than homes. There are about 90 licensed child care programs, including daycare centers, home daycares and preschools. The average child care costs in Bethesda MD is $350/week.
Bethesda, MD is one of the most affluent and highly educated communities in the United States. In 2014 Forbes named it number one most educated small town in America. In 2012, CNNMoney.com ranked Bethesda as the number one top-earning American town. It shouldn't come as a surprise then that child care providers are well educated and tuition rates are also very high. Daycare rates in Bethesda, MD are significantly higher than the state average of $14,000 for full time infant care in a center or $9,500 in a home. In Bethesda, the average cost for full time infant care at a child care center is $430/week or $370/week in a home. For a 3 year old, the average cost of full time care at a Bethesda child care center is $320/week, or $280/week in a home. These rates are a lot closer to those of Washington D.C., the highest in the nation. For rates that are on average $100 a week lower, consider commuting to nearby Silver Spring, MD. To find out the average cost of daycare in your zip code, click here to use our daycare cost calculator
In Maryland, there are more than twice as many family child care homes as there are centers, but in Bethesda two thirds of the programs are child care centers rather than homes. There are only about 90 licensed daycares in the town. At least a third of these daycares provide care for children with special needs and accept vouchers. Most of the programs (75%) are open year round.
Bethesda child care providers must follow Maryland state child care regulations. In Bethesda, as in the rest of Maryland, all child care centers and family child care homes caring for one or more unrelated children are required to be licensed. Licensed providers must have a bachelor's degree in early childhood education or a related field. Family child care providers are required to have 38 hours of initial training including emergency preparation, CPR and first aid. Center staff are also required to have initial orientation, fire safety, and other health and safety training. At least one staff member certified in first-aid and CPR must be on premises at all times.
Most child care providers in Bethesda follow the NAEYC accreditation standards for group size requirements and child ratios. For instance, family providers are permitted to care for no more than two infants and toddlers when older children are present. All family child care homes are inspected once a year, including health, safety and fire inspections. Routine monitoring and complaint inspections are done unannounced. Child care providers are required to undergo a background check that includes using fingerprints for state and federal records check and a check of the child abuse and neglect registry. At this time, a check of the sex offender registry is not required in regulation.