Your Journey Starts Here!

ELC Baby

The UPO Office of Early Learning implements a nationally recognized approach to early childhood education that provides opportunities to learn and gain exposure to educational and services that support families. We are committed to ensuring that your child is equipped to develop successfully and embrace all that the world has to offer.

Our Early Head Start and Pre-K programs provide comprehensive services for children aged 0-5, including age-appropriate, curriculum-based educational programs and activities, health screenings, and nutritious meals. In addition, we offer Head Start programs to children in D.C. through partnerships with Spanish Education Development (SED) Center, Christian Tabernacle Child Development Center (CTCDC), Educare, and AppleTree Institute.

In 2014, UPO’s Office of Early Learning was recognized for its organizational leadership by being selected as a program training “hub” under the Office of the State Superintendent of Education’s Quality Improvement Network. In addition, U.S. Secretary of Education Anne Duncan referred to UPO’s Head Start partnership with AppleTree Institute as “a model worthy of replication.”

For infants and expecting mothers

The United Planning Organization’s Early Head Start Program in DC supports comprehensive development of infants and expecting mothers. Held in a friendly, relaxed setting, this program seeks to develop infants’ physical and mental skills. In addition, expecting mothers can participate in program activities to learn the tools required for raising happy, healthy children.


The UPO Office of Early Learning has a special focus on helping children from birth to age 3 to grow and thrive in a healthy, supportive environment. Our Early Head Start programs provide infants and toddlers with the tools needed to develop their social-emotional, physical, cognitive, and language skills—steering them in the direction of happiness and success.

We also provide services for pregnant women to help ensure healthy prenatal outcomes, as well as promote positive adult-child relationships.

In 2014, our Early Head Start programs served 524 children and 488 families throughout the District!

Pre-K Programs

Promoting school readiness

The UPO Office of Early Learning’s Pre-K programs are focused on ensuring that children aged 3½–5 are prepared for success in school and beyond.

Edgewood ELC Girl 2

In recognition of the critical role that parents play as their child’s first teacher, we place significant emphasis on involving parents in all school readiness efforts, including preparation for the kindergarten entry assessment (KEA) process. Together, we work to ensure that preschoolers are ready to take their next big step toward a brighter future.

Our Staff and Early Learning Centers

Dedicated, compassionate professionals preparing DC’s children for a productive future


UPO operates 12 Early Learning Centers throughout the District of Columbia that provide a large variety of support services, including regular and periodic screenings and assessments for every enrolled child.

DSC_1939Each Center maintains a safe teacher-child ratio, and we take every measure to ensure that all teachers have the credentials and experience needed to provide the children in their care with the best education possible. This includes requiring that all Center staff members participate in a minimum of 30 hours of training every year to keep up to date on the latest in early education.

UPO’s Early Learning Centers are also supported by a multidisciplinary team of Service Area Specialists who provide ongoing training and technical assistance to staff and parents in the areas of education, health, mental health, nutrition, disabilities, and family advocacy. In addition, Family Engagement Specialists assigned to each Center provide ongoing case management, referral, support, and crisis intervention services.

Each center is open Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

UPO’s Early Learning Network provides a full suite of services for children and their families:


12 Locations
Within The District of Columbia

Marie Reed
2200 Champlain St. NW

Dunbar Senior High School
101 N Street NW

601 Edgewood Terrace, NE

Luke C. Moore
1001 Monroe Street NE

Azeeze Bates
444 16th Street NE

Paradise Day Care Center
3513 Jay Street NE Suites A & B

Woodson High School
540 55th Street NE

C.W. Harris Elementary School
301 53rd SE

Anacostia High School
1601 16th Street SE

Frederick Douglass
3240 Stanton Road SE

Ballou Senior High School
3401 4th Street SE

Atlantic Gardens
4228 4th Street SE