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    Friendly Atmosphere Welcoming Place For Every Child Play-Based Emergent Curriculum Driven by imaginations
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  • Welcome to The Shoe!

    High quality child care and early education for young children

    The Children in the Shoe began in 1977 in the Washington D.C. home of Judy and Ted Heintz.  As more women began to enter the workforce, Judy recognized that there was a need for before and after care for school-aged kids, including her own.  The Heintz family home was opened up for before and after care for school-aged kids and the Children in the Shoe was born!

    In 1982, the Shoe and the Heintz family moved to Chevy Chase, Maryland, and Judy made the decision to focus more on providing quality care for young children. Beginning with in-home child care for small groups of young children, the Shoe slowly grew and the infant and toddler program was developed.

    In 1990, “The Children in the Shoe, Inc.” was officially formed.  The infant and toddler program expanded and the first group of 10 children in an in-home center was licensed to operate in Montgomery County.

    As it became clear that the need for high quality care for young children was growing, Judy recognized that the Children in the Shoe would need to grow too!  In 1997, the first center located in commercial space was opened.  Known as the B-CC center, it is located in downtown Bethesda and is next door to B-CC High School.  Just one year later, in 1998, the Shoe opened a second center.  Also located in downtown Bethesda, the East/West Towers center is just across the street from B-CC High School, but both the East/West and B-CC centers operate independently.

    In 2000, the Children in the Shoe added a third location in Olney, Maryland. After renovating the existing site, the Olney center opened and provided care for infants up to three-year-olds.  It wasn’t long before the Olney center was expanded to include a space for pre-school children as well.

    In 2004, the East/West center expanded, adding 4 new classrooms, including a pre-school classroom, and doubling in size.  The following year, in 2005, the East/West center earned NAEYC accreditation (National Association for the Education of Young Children).

    Tragically, in 2005, the founder and matriarch of the Children in the Shoe, our beloved Judy Heintz passed away.  In 2007, Judy’s sons, Jon and Geoffrey (“Jib”) took over at the helm of the Children in the Shoe.

    In 2009 the Olney center relocated just a couple miles down the road to a beautiful new location on 2 acres of land.

    The Children in the Shoe grew again in 2014 when the fourth location was opened in Rockville.  Serving infants through pre-school, the Rockville Center is licensed for over 100 children.

    In 2020, The Children in the Shoe had to temporarily close down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  All 4 centers were able to re-open in June 2020, and are currently providing care to hundreds of children.

    • Our Mission

      The Children in the Shoe, Inc. provides high quality child care and early education for young children. Our programs are play-based and emphasize creativity, cooperation, and social development. Our emergent curriculum is inspired and driven by the imaginations of children and supported by skillful, knowledgeable teachers who plan developmentally appropriate experiences based on demonstrated effective early childhood practices.

    • Diversity

      Diversity is an important part of our program and is emphasized in every classroom. We happily accept children of all races, nationalities, religious backgrounds, family structures, life styles, and abilities.

    • Locations

      Bethesda (two locations), Rockville and Olney.
      All four of our centers are open year-round from 7:30 AM to 6:30 PM, Monday through Friday, except for ten days per year for major holidays.
      All of our centers have a Director of Programs and a Director of Administration.

    • Age Groups

      We care for children between the ages of 6 weeks and 5 years. Our early learning programs are designed for infants, toddlers, twos & threes, preschool and pre-kindergarten.

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      Our Children

      Their smiles are what make our world go around!

    • Years in Operation

      Serving our community!

    • years
      Average Staff Retention

      A great place to work!

  • Our programs are play-based, emphasizing creativity, cooperation, and social development.

    The key to providing successful learning experiences is to figure out what interests your child. We work to help your child develop a love of learning. Active play is at the heart of children’s learning, so we encourage them to observe, explore, take things apart, build, create, draw, and see what they can find out.

    • Our Staff

      Our kind, loving, and experienced teachers are dedicated to developing your child’s potential and are sensitive to your child’s individual needs.

    • Family Communication

      The Children in the Shoe develops strong, caring partnerships with each child’s family through daily communication, parent-teacher conferences, and our open-door policy to ensure the best possible experience for you and your child.

    • William is just so happy to go to school each day, and that gives me a little glimpse into the joyful way he spends each day at the shoe.

      N. Chien
    • We love The Shoe! The staff has helped mold my daughter into a smart, caring and passionate child.

      Alexandra Smith
    • The teachers and staff at The Children in the Shoe are amazing!

      M. Smith
    • The teachers are warm and caring. My children both love school and have learned so much. I also love the physical space of The Shoe.

      S. Hendrickson
    • We have been extremely happy with the quality of the care our children receive here!  I feel like everyone in the center knows my kids and is happy to see and interact with them – not just their own teachers.

      L. Sera
    • No other childcare center compared, hands down, when making my choice. 

      Doug and Jennifer McIvor
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  • We can not wait to hear from you!

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