At Falls Church-McLean Children's Center, children whose parents work as housekeepers in hotels play with children whose parents run hotels. And those with learning delays are caught early, when the chance of making a positive impact is greatest. 80% of the Center's children are at risk of failing in school because of developmental delays, low household income, or unstable home situations. So the Center's team includes an occupational therapist, speech and language therapist, English and Spanish-speaking counselors, special education instructor, and an exceptionally well-trained classroom teaching staff (which includes at least one teacher who is bilingual). In the full-day education program for two- to five-year olds, classroom activities rotate around a theme: visiting the National Geographic Society’s Frog Exhibit in conjunction with reading about frogs, making frog craft projects, and talking about the color green – complete with green playdough. The goal: prepare each child to enter kindergarten with expected age-level skills, ready to succeed in school and life. A modest investment of $105 a week, per child leads to a lifetime of positive results.

Headquarters: VA-Fairfax County

Where They Operate: VA-Fairfax County; VA-City of Falls Church

Age Groups Served: Pre-K (3-4); Adult (25-49)

Population(s) Served: Individuals with Disabilities; Low- to Moderate-Income Community Members; Students; ; Low- to Moderate-Income Community Members

Schools They Work In: Our Children's Center is located in a dedicated wing of Lemon Road Elementary School, a Fairfax County Public School, where children who are residents of Fairfax County and have special needs can attend half-day Special Education preschool classes. Children with other special needs may attend Pimmit Hills Resource Center. ; Children with special needs who are residents of Falls Church City attend the half-day program at Mount Daniel Elementary School when public schools are in session. Transportation is provided by the public schools' systems as needed.

  • Number of Books Read to Children Each Year at the Children's Center:   7,650
  • Number of children we prepare for success in school annually:   100
  • Number of Hours of Speech Therapy or other services children with special needs receive each year.:   2510
  • Number of healthy meals and nutritious snacks served to children each year:   9600
  • Numbers of Hours Outdoors Getting Physical Exercise:   309,600

Awards & Recognition

Nonprofit of the Year by the McLean Chamber of Commerce, 2016

Accredited with commendations by the National Association for the Education of the Young Child (NAEYC), 2014.

Re-awarded a 4-Star Rating (out of 5 possible) in the Virginia Star Quality Initiative voluntary assessment of preschools in 2015.

Outstanding Service to Young Children Award from Northern Virginia Association for the Education of Young Children, 2008.


Budget (FY2015)

  • $3 million or higher
  • The current budget for Falls Church-McLean Children's Center is: $1 million to $3 million
  • $500k to $1 million
  • Less than $500k

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