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Frequently Asked Questions

The following information is designed to answer typical questions that are asked about TCCC by parents who may be considering enrolling their children, as well as parents who have a child currently enrolled. For parents whose children are currently enrolled who may want additional information, please consult your Parent Handbook. If you need additional information about Center operations in general, please contact a Center Director.

What is the Staff-to-Child Ratio at TCCC?
Spring Hill Center

Infant – 1:3
Pre-Toddler I – 1:4
Pre-Toddler II – 1:5
Toddler – 1:6
Preschool/Pre-Kindergarten – 1:10

McLean Center

Infant – 1:3
Pre-Toddler I – 1:4
Pre-Toddler II – 1:5
Toddler – 1:5
Preschool – 1:8
Pre-Kindergarten – 1:10
Jr. Kindergarten – 1:10
School Age Summer Camp – 1:9

TCCC has a minimum of five (5) floaters who are trained to work in all classrooms and divide their time between the Centers. Floaters fill in for staff who are absent from the Center for vacation or personal reasons. When the staff members are all present, these floaters are supplementary and support classrooms as needed which enables TCCC to exceed the ratios listed.

How Are the Children Grouped?
Spring Hill Center

Infant – 2 to 16 months
Pre-Toddler I – 13 to 22 months
Pre-Toddler II – 18 to 30 months
Toddler – 24 to 38 months
Preschool/Pre-Kindergarten – 36 to 60 months

McLean Center

Infant – 2 to 16 months
Pre-Toddler I – 13 to 22 months
Pre-Toddler II – 18 to 26 months
Toddler – 20 to 38 months
Preschool – 28 to 40 months
Pre-Kindergarten – 36 to 48 months
Jr. Kindergarten – 46 to 72 months
School Age Summer Camp – 60 to 84 months

Age groups are subject to change at the Executive Director’s and/or the Board of Directors’ discretion.

What Are TCCC’s Hours of Operation?

Both the TCCC McLean and Spring Hill locations open at 7:15 am and close at 6:15 pm Monday through Friday throughout the year. Centers are closed on major Federal holidays and 2 pre-scheduled staff in-service training days.

How does TCCC handle the COVID-19 virus?

Tysons Corner Children’s Center consulted with various science, public health and education professionals and organizations to create a comprehensive COVID-19 policy that would enable TCCC to re-open safely with the best interests of our families and teachers in mind while protecting against the spread of the virus within our community.  All of our policies are in compliance with the guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and our local Health Department pertaining to child care programs and COVID-19 and are continually re-examined and adjusted as the virus evolves and we receive new guidance.  Some basic tenets of our policy can be found on our COVID-19 Policy page.

Why is TCCC Closed for 2 In-Service Days?

Each In-Service day provides the staff with an opportunity to receive 8 hours of staff development and program enhancement training that assists them with the care and education of the children.

When Does the School Year Start?

The school year starts the day after Labor Day, immediately after Summer Camp. However, enrollment is based on space availability in all classrooms and occurs as spaces open up throughout the year.

How Do I Know If TCCC Will Be Open on Days with Bad Weather?

Each Center makes every effort to update its Center phone message by 6 a.m. on days that weather might affect opening times – McLean: 703-761-1123, Spring Hill: 703-761-1161. Also, TCCC utilizes an email listserv to contact parents regarding emergencies an weather-related closings. E-mail addresses are kept confidential.

What Is the Emergency Card?

Parents fill out an Emergency Card for each child at the Center. This card contains critical information to be used in an emergency situation to include but not be limited to complete updated contact information for all parents and guardians, child’s pediatrician contact information, list of allergies, etc. This card also has information such as who to contact if the parents/guardians who are authorized to pick the child up at the Center are not available, etc. Here is a link to the Parent Forms section. You can also get a copy of the form from the Director of your Center. The Emergency Card, like all information in a child’s file, is kept confidential.

What Are “Helping Hands Points” and How Does the Helping Hands System Work?

Tysons Corner Children’s Center maintains a Helping Hands program that ensures that parents enrolling their children into the Center understand and accept their responsibility to provide support to the Center in addition to tuition payments.

Example: For one child in attendance at TCCC a minimum of 12 points needs to be earned during the course of the year. For two or more children in attendance, the minimum amount of points required to be earned is 18 during the course of the year.

A Helping Hands form must be completed and signed in order for you to get credit for your points. Here is a link to the Parent Forms section. You can also get a copy of the form from the Director of your Center.

A detailed explanation of the Helping Hands program is available in your Parent Handbook.

I Need a Form (For Helping Hands Points, Parent’s Night Out, Authorization to Apply Sunscreen, Etc.). Where Do I Get One?

If the form you need is not available as a .pdf on this site in the Parent Forms section of this website, please contact the Director of your Center for the form you may need.

What is “Parents’ Night Out”?

TCCC periodically offers parents a night out by extending the Centers’ hours on a designated Friday. The Parents’ Night Out (PNO) sign-up sheet is posted near the sign in/sign out sheet in your child’s classroom. This special Center event will be staffed (by center staff) based on the number of children whose parents have signed them up for this event. Dinner will be served to the children. There is a nominal fee associated with this service. Children must be picked up by 9 p.m. or a late fee is imposed.

A PNO form must be filled out prior to the designated Friday so that the appropriate number of staff can sign up to provide care. Here is a link to the Parent Forms section. You can also get a copy of the form from the Director of your Center.

Can my company be a corporate sponsor of TCCC?

Our Corporate Sponsors are a valued component in our childcare operations at Tysons Corner Children’s Center. The support we receive from them helps us to provide high-quality care, ensure low child-to-staff ratios and hire dedicated professionals. In return, TCCC provides exceptional, reliable, high-quality childcare that allows working parents the peace of mind they deserve.

Additionally, our Corporate Sponsors’ employees gain priority enrollment privileges that enable them to move ahead of the community wait list. We value our partnership with our Corporate Sponsors and encourage their continued participation as we work together in a relationship that directly impacts the education and general wellbeing of the children in our care.

The benefits of TCCC corporate sponsorship:

  • Opportunity for your employees to have access to one of the highest quality childcare facilities in the D.C. area.
  • Corporate sponsorship allows your employees to enroll their children in TCCC ahead of non-corporate sponsor employees.
  • Enables your employees to work with peace of mind that their children are in a loving, nurturing learning environment.
  • Access to high quality drop-in care for infants through Jr. Kindergarten.
  • Tax deduction for contributing to a non-profit, 501c(3) childcare organization.
  • Recognition on the TCCC website with hyperlinks to all corporate sponsor websites.
  • Satisfaction that your firm is supporting a non-profit organization focused on what’s best for the child.

Is your corporation interested in sponsoring a non-profit organization and at the same time, providing a valuable employee benefit? If so, consider Tysons Corner Children’s Center.

If you have any questions, please contact the TCCC Executive Director at 703-917-9290 or

I’m Not in a Position to Take Advantage of Priority Enrollment Through Corporate Sponsorship. Are There Any Alternatives?

Due to numerous requests from parents in the community who are not employed by a corporate sponsor, TCCC has developed an individual sponsorship plan that has similar benefits of corporate sponsorship. The TCCC Executive Director can provide the details on costs and benefits to help you determine if this is a beneficial route for you to take when considering your child for enrollment.

Are Nutritious Snacks and Meals Provided?

Yes. Although there are some differences between age groups, your child will get a minimum of morning snack, a hot lunch, and an afternoon snack. Our food caterer’s nutritionist, in partnership with our Management team, designs the menus that are in accordance with State and Federal USDA guidelines. Menus are posted throughout your child’s Center and here on our website under the Resources tab.  You can find additional nutritional details about our meals along with specialty and allergy menus here on the caterer’s website.

TCCC is a peanut and tree nut-free environment.

How Do I Find out in Advance What Food Will Be Served to My Child?

Menus are available for download in .pdf form under the Center Activity – Menus section of our of our website. Also, the Center Directors have a copy and post updates in the same place in each Center. Copies can be found on each bulletin board in every classroom and on the Parent Bulletin Board where the monthly calendars are located at each location.

You can find additional nutritional details about our meals along with specialty and allergy menus here on the caterer’s website.

Can TCCC Staff Apply Sunscreen and Other Topical Creams, Lotions, Etc.?

Yes, though parents must supply the product and fill out a consent form. Here is a link to the Parent Forms section. You can also get a copy of the form from the Director of your Center. Regarding sunscreen: Parents are requested to apply sunscreen to their child or children before bringing them to the Center. If additional applications are necessary, TCCC staff will apply the sunscreen as long as the appropriate Parent Permission form is filled out and signed.

Can I Have Other Trusted Adults — Such as My Parents, Friends or Neighbors — Pick up My Child?

The only people who are authorized to pick up your children must be listed on the Emergency Card (Parent Forms section). If you need someone other than those authorized on the Emergency Card to pick up your child, you must give signed authorization, including the person’s full name and the dates that they are authorized to pick up the child to the Director of your Center. When that person picks up the child, they must provide proper photo ID (e.g., Driver’s License) to the Center Director. It is only under these circumstances that someone other than the parents/legal guardians of a child will be allowed to take a child from the Center.

Why Do I Have to Sign My Child in and out Every Day?

TCCC has a strict policy on signing in and out for accountability purposes to meet licensing regulations and especially in case of an emergency situation that would require an accurate count.

How Frequently Does TCCC Have Parent/Teacher Conferences?

Formal Parent/Teacher Conferences are offered 2 times per year for children from Preschool through Jr. Kindergarten. However, parents can set up conferences with their child’s teacher and/or Center Management on an as-needed basis. We ask that you schedule these meetings in advance in order to ensure that staffing is adequate on the day that you request the meeting. Typically, we schedule these meetings between 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. However, we will make every effort to accommodate parent’s requests when possible.

We actively discourage parents from engaging staff in conversation during drop-off and pick up times when the teachers’ first responsibility is the safety and well-being of the group of children under their care.

What Elective Programs Are Available Above and Beyond the Basic TCCC Childcare Offerings?

TCCC tries to keep a diverse offering of additional social and developmental opportunities available throughout the day. During the school year, TCCC provides an in-house fitness program (18 months & up) and an in-house science program (3 years & up) where all children in these age groups have an opportunity to participate. Soccer and Spanish are offered on an individual fee basis for children (3 years & up) and a Chinese program (3 years and up) is available at the McLean Center  Please contact the Director of your Center if you require additional information.

NOTE: For classes offered by outside vendors, TCCC has a staff member attend each class to ensure the level of care is up to TCCC standards.

What Is Required of Parents Who Volunteer for Field Trips?

When a parent signs up for a field trip, they are expected to show up at their child’s classroom on the prescribed date at the prescribed time. Specific details about the field trip will be distributed at that time, for example, each parent will be given a sheet with basic information about the trip (lead teacher, first aid box location, etc.). Each parent will be assigned at most two children (typically their child and a classmate). The parent is responsible for those children for the duration of the field trip, from getting them on the bus at TCCC to getting them off the bus at the field trip location, to monitoring bathroom breaks, to making sure the children get back on the bus to go back to TCCC, to making sure the children are back in their classroom under their teacher’s supervision.

If the field trip activity requires tickets, typically three tickets (one for the parent and one for each child) will be distributed at the field trip location. If appropriate, the parent will be given drinking water and snacks for the children and themselves.

Parents are asked not to purchase any food or drinks during the field trip.

I Would like to Give My Child’s Teacher a Special Gift, How Should This Be Handled?

Giving a special gift to your child’s teacher or teachers should be at your personal discretion. Each year we celebrate our staff during Staff Appreciation Week which occurs the week before Memorial Day. At this time, invite you to donate gift cards or money during this time to be used for our popular staff appreciation raffle that occurs annually at our Staff Appreciation Dinner in the fall. Also, in December, the Board of Directors asks parents to contribute to a Holiday gift pool that enables TCCC to give a monetary gift of $100 to all full-time employees and $50 to all part-time employees.

I Would like to Make a Tax Free Donation to TCCC. How Should This Be Handled?

Your donation will be most appreciated. Contact TCCC’s Executive Director at 703-917-9290 or email:

How Do I Become a Member of the TCCC Board of Directors?

Every April, a board slate is populated by parents who volunteer their time and expertise to serve on the TCCC board. Once the slate is complete, it is approved at the Board of Directors meeting during the month of May and voted on at the annual parents’ meeting during May.

How Do I Get to TCCC?

For directions on how to find either of our Centers (McLean and Spring Hill), please refer to the Contact Us section of this site for addresses to each Center.

I’d like to See What Employment Opportunities There Are at TCCC. Whom Should I Contact?

To see what positions are currently available and if you would be a good match with our team, call the Executive Director at the TCCC Corporate Office at 703-917-9290. For more information, check out the Employment section of this site.

Does TCCC have a convenient way for parents to access their account and pay tuition online?

TCCC utilizes SmartCare, a cloud-based, real-time technology that enables Parents, Center Directors and Teachers to be connected in real time through your own mobile devices and via web portal – throughout the day, anytime, from anywhere. SmartCare will serve as TCCC’s account management software and bring true connectivity and communication directly to you.

What’s the Most Important Thing I Should Know About TCCC?

Children at TCCC feel loved and respected as individuals. The Staff Members, Management Team and Board of Directors take pride in knowing that our families can expect that “Our children’s hearts and minds will grow strong” in a comfortable and safe learning environment. Our children have open-ended opportunities to participate in developmentally appropriate programs that encourage and motivate their natural desire to learn. Loving hugs are included in our daily curriculum.

At Tysons Corner Children’s Center, we are fully committed to our goal of providing exceptional high-quality childcare for our children and their families.

Where Hearts and Minds Grow Strong