Congressional Day Care Wait List Up to ‘Several’ Years

266 children waiting for the call

Staffers pay anywhere from around $1,000 to $1,400 a month for child care on the Hill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Staffers pay anywhere from around $1,000 to $1,400 a month for child care on the Hill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Posted May 22, 2017 at 5:00am

By ALEX GANGITANO and KATHERINE TULLY-MCMANUS

If you’re a House staffer and thinking about having a baby in three years, you probably should get on the congressional day care wait list now.

When Roll Call wrote about the topic in 2014, the list was a little more than a year long.

Now, “sometimes people are on it for several years,” House Chief Administrative Officer Phil Kiko said in a Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on fiscal 2018 spending on Wednesday.

There are 266 children on the list for congressional day care, which is run by the Office of the CAO and the Architect of the Capitol. There are day care centers on both the House and Senate sides.

The House day care is desirable because it is located in the Ford House Office Building, just steps away from congressional offices, and costs much less than private day care — around $1,000 to $1,400 a month.

Things could change soon for staffers who are watching the list to get their kids into the coveted program.

Ohio Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan asked about expanding the House day care center at Wednesday’s hearing.

Kiko said that the AOC office is looking into expansion, either within the Ford Building, or by using space in the Thomas P. O’Neill Jr. Federal Building, or both.

O’Neill is scheduled to expand for more House use, beginning June 8.

“Personally, I would like to greatly expand the day care center so we have a lot more parents and children that appear on campus,” he said. “It would make it easier.”

The AOC is doing a study on its options for expansion and Kiko expects it to be completed in the next few months.