Wednesday, November 17, 2010

An Ode to the FSI Daycare facility

I wanted to take the opportunity to talk about the Foreign Service daycare facility and how fabulous it is! These people have made Son so happy and my life so easy plus I get so many questions on the subject that I decided to summarize the info.

1. It is right on the premises of FSI and the shuttles that take FSOs from their housing buildings to FSI in the mornings stop right in front of the daycare to drop off the eager FSO Diplotots. No, you DO NOT need a carseat to get on the bus (unless you have a miniscule baby and want to take the carseat with you). There will always be a spot for you and your child to sit since no one wants a screaming kid at 7.30am on the bus.
2. It is open from 7.20 am to 5.30 pm, which is more than enough given your FSO schedule during training, and they can care for your (forgotten) child as late as you need them to (for the appropriate price, of course!)
3. The staff is very international and appropriately educated.
4. They are incredibly loving towards the children and cater to their whims within reason.
5. They will work with you on potty training, biting issues, sleep issues, food issues, whatever little unique "things" your kiddo has, they can accomodate. And be nice about it.
6. It accepts kids from (what it seems) birth to pre-K.
7. It is relatively inexpensive (then again, I hail from NYC, so my gauge is a tad different than that of someone coming from Ohio or, say, returning from Vietnam).
8. It has great outdoor space and weather permitting, the kids are always playing outside in the afternoon.
9. The kids are entertained in all kinds of ways during the day, including crafts, music, book-reading, counting and other activities including materials that in the evening I desperately try to get out of Son's clothes.
10. You get to meet many other FSOs dropping off their kids and form some realy cool friendships that way, especially when your kid has beaten up/been smitten by another kid.
11. They provide breakfast and lunch and snacks for the kids, and you KNOW that is awesome (my least fav thing in NYC was scrambling to provide an interesting and nutritious lunch for Son in the morning before sending him off to daycare).
12. They have pie socials for parents every month.

The only issue is: You MUST reserve a spot way in advance--there is huge demand and you need to act ASAP you know an offer for a A-100 class is forthcoming. It will only cost you $50 in deposit fees and remove the hassle of trying to find a nearby daycare option. Their number is 703 302 7501.

So, I hope I have answered all your questions on the subject. Should anyone have any more questions, let me know and I will try to answer them. And btw, if anyone needs a pediatrician recommendation, I can give you that too.

In other news, Son has picked up a new fashion--he now wants to wear different shoes on each foot. Nothing will make him change his mind. His choice is not always unreasonable--yesterday, his right shoe matched his pants, and his left show--his shirts. Sometimes, in a decisive break with his Indian roots, he even sleeps in his shoes. I have to say that I love his firm stance on his own fashion.

Also lately, whenever he sees me or the Diplomat disrobed, he runs to us, touches the bare bums and screams with delight, "RAINBOW!!!" Um, what?


  1. Great info, thanks! Also, I think a couple of "spouses" are getting together this Saturday night for dinner. Are you interested? No one really knows each other so it should be fun, right?

  2. Dear Nanana,

    Thanks for your FSI Daycare blog-posting... It just makes all the difference in the world to hear direct feedback relating to such important matters as childcare! Coming from our 1st tour of duty in Seoul, and facing childcare for the 1st time (in the US) is does keep you up at night.

    You have given my wife and I peace of mind...
    The Otero-Hecht Family
    Seoul, (In rout to New Delhi Aug 2011)

  3. you have given a very fair account of the childcare facility, which I can vouchsafe. I was a witness to its caring of my grandson when we as grandparents visited the facility, courtesy my diplomat son, in September on a couple of occasions. you have done a service to your fellow diplomat spouses by listing the various aspects of the daycare! if I look at the various accounts (sometime so hilarious)on ur Blog so far on the American foreign service, u can be appointed as the honorary brand ambassador of US foreign service, till you yourself become part of the diplomat cadre in the near future!May god bless you for your presentation skills and loyalty to the adopted country!

  4. this is very informative, but perhaps too much so for the wrong kinds of people. Am I overly paranoid? Are there any security issues with FS blogging?

  5. Re: security issues. I appreciate the comment and the concern, however, I am not aware in general of any security restrictions regarding FS blogging. There are a plethora of blogs out there, giving information on daycare, housing in the US and abroad, Flag Day, Swearing in Day, even bid lists and what have you. In this particular context, I am not sure what could be considered unsafe--I am simply describing the conditions in a daycare facility. The facility itself is expressly mentioned on, which links to a site that gives its address/phone.

  6. Thank you for this! Our kids start at the FSI daycare next week (while my FSO spouse and I are in language training for our next post) and I was panicking about all the last minute things ("Do we need to pack lunches? Snacks?" etc., etc.).

    Hopefully we'll meet at one of the pie socials...

  7. I start in the 163rd class in September. My son is reserved at FSI daycare but I am having a few issues getting confirmation that I am registered so he can be confirmed. I am registered but FSI daycare cannot contact A-100 only GSO. Can you tell me how you got around this? And any recommendations on pediatricians would be great. We'll be at Falls Church Oakwood.

  8. I have no idea, I did not run into this problem. And never heard of it either. Weird. Is the daycare giving you pushback?

  9. This is really an informative & useful blog. Thanks for sharing with us. Day care in Noida

  10. I am taking the FSO exam in October. I have 3 children and a husband and I wanted to ask, do they have any extracurricular things for the children? My children do things like ballet lessons, violin lessons, gymnastics classes, etc. Is there anything offered like that for the children when you are going from country to country?

  11. Kole, do you mean in the american schools overseas? They are American schools in every meaning of the word, inclujding extensive extracurricular life. Naturally, it all depends where you are but here in Dhaka kids are plenty occupied.

  12. Thanks for this informative post! My husband is an FSO, and we will be heading back to FSI for third tour language training next summer (after serving in Cairo and Kuwait). It's been really hard to find any substantive info on FSI daycare, so your blog was very helpful and reassuring.

  13. I wish the State Dept used some of this on their website- so informative! My husband and I started looking into the FS... planning on the June test. My question is: where do school-aged children go? Are there immersion options for them to learn the language before leaving for another country?

  14. :) Marcie, glad to hear this. For school-age kids, there are no such immersion options, now wouldn't that be something? Son will be attending public school this fall in Arlington county.

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  16. These are awesome signs! I run a lunch program at a small daycare school for your child and we have many children with a host of food allergies. These signs are great for our tables, but....if you could add "seeds" to the nut free table sign it would be perfect! A lot of our students with nut allergies also have sesame and flax allergies. Thanks for considering it!!!