Potomac is a medium-sized town in Montgomery County, MD, named after the nearby Potomac River. It has a population of over 47,000 people and ranked as the 7th-most-educated small town by Forbes. It was also once ranked as the most affluent town in the US (for towns with a population of 25,000) with a median household income of $187,568 per year. Child care is thus expensive in Potomac, which is served by 86 licensed child care facilities. The average cost of daycare is $1,690 per month for infants in a child care center
(over $20,000 annually), compared to $1,365 per month in a home daycare
($16,380 annually). For preschoolers, cost decreases with an average price of child care of $1,215 per month ($14,560 annually) for a 4-year-old. Our daycare cost calculator
can help you determine the cost of child care for your child's age in your zip code.
Potomac is a wealthy and highly educated community. Most residents work close to Washington, DC
, specializing in Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services, as well as Healthcare. The state-licensed child care facilities consist of 36 child care centers and 50 family child care homes (home-based daycares and preschools). Most of the home-based programs cost less than centers (especially for young babies, as indicated above, with a cost, on average, 20% lower for infant care in a home). However, the State of Maryland regulates both types of child care facilities, and both must maintain a high standard of safety and quality for the early education programs.
To obtain a child care license in Maryland, child care providers must attend a mandatory face-to-face orientation training in the Office of Child Care. Child care facilities are initially authorized to operate for two years. They may then continue with a non-expiring license or registration if they continue to meet the legal requirements. They must also successfully pass the unannounced inspections that occur at least once a year.
There are early learning programs accredited by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) or by NAEYC. Accredited daycares and preschools
are committed to providing the highest quality, research-based early education programs. Their goal is to provide a strong foundation for future academic success. To maintain accreditation, child care directors and staff must commit to continuous quality improvement in order to provide children with the most up-to-date effective teaching methods and activities. Highly qualified caregivers and teachers provide supportive supervision and create a more engaging and positive learning environment for children. An accreditation isn't always a sign of higher quality, though. Getting it can be costly to get and thus out of reach for many providers, especially small home-based programs.
For some parents, it's essential that their children learn and grow in a specific cultural or religious environment. For those families, Potomac offers ten faith-based, religious child care facilities that typically include religion as part of the curriculum and activities. For parents looking to have their child immersed in a multi-lingual environment, there are six bilingual daycares in Potomac where children learn a foreign language through music, reading, writing, and other creative activities. Health and safety is a top priority for all families but especially those with children who have allergies. Parents will be happy to know that Potomac is home to 22 peanut-free child care facilities where the staff has specialized training and doesn't serve any food with peanuts.