Education Programs


Our comprehensive, high quality Healthy Start program offers full day early childhood education to children from 6 weeks to 3 years of age, as well as out-of-school time programming for pre-kindergarten and elementary-aged students. These programs lay the framework for school readiness and help students develop skills to ensure academic and life success. Our educators employ an intentional practice, which incorporates the most up to date, best in class research on how children learn and develop.

Martha’s Table Healthy Start program has an open, non-discriminatory enrollment policy with no application fee. For information about enrollment in our early childhood education or out-of-school time program, please call 202-808-8029 or click here.

Public Notification on Participation in D.C. Free Summer Meals Program

Early Childhood Education

Martha’s Table’s comprehensive, high quality Healthy Start program offers full day early childhood education programming for students 3 months to 3 years of age. Our educators work to ensure a sound developmental and academic foundation for children, laying the framework for school readiness beyond preschool.

Through a partnership with AppleTree Institute, we uphold high standards of quality, and work to ensure that our programming is research-backed and evidence-based. AppleTree Institute helps our leadership team conduct Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) assessments, partners with our educators to offer professional development, and provides targeted assistance to our Academic Coach and Early Childhood Specialist. In addition, AppleTree Institute supports Martha’s Table to maintain a strong academic focus through use of the Every Child Ready Tool, a model that helps impart literacy skills in early childhood.

Out-of-School Time

Students in Martha’s Table’s nationally accredited out-of-school time program practice inquiry and develop critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, and communication skills. Our program offers literacy-focused activities, and employs a project-based approach, which allows teachers to tailor activities to students’ interests, ensuring that children are active participants in their education.

Our out-of-school time program has strong community connections, creating opportunities for unique and engaging experiences for students. In addition to fostering an ongoing partnership with An Open Book Foundation, a literacy nonprofit, and Reset, a science and engineering program, Martha’s Table also partners with local organizations to offer yoga, tae kwon do, and engrossing field trips for students.

Family Engagement

Our Healthy Start program is complemented by a critical family engagement and education component, which creates a strong home-school relationship for our students, and connects caregivers to supports they need to nurture successful families and futures. Our engagement efforts include:

  • A Home Visiting Program, which provides caregivers essential support during their child’s critical early years.
  • The Parenting Journey, a course that allows caregivers to reflect on how they were parented as children, and supports them to make intentional parenting decisions to ensure strong outcomes for their children.
  • A partnership with Healthy Futures, which offers resources and trainings on social-emotional development.

Our program also offers education to caregivers, connecting them to a range of vital resources related to parenting, financial literacy, and adult education.


Martha’s Table’s after-school programs are accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA). This accreditation is recognition of meeting high measurable standards of quality in programs serving children and youth. Martha’s Table is one of only two after-school programs in Washington, DC to hold this distinction.

As an accredited program licensed by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) for the District of Columbia, Martha’s Table’s quality programming is also ensured through regular inspections.  Our standards for national accreditation far exceed state licensing qualifications, and OSSE recognizes our Healthy Start center as an exemplary “Gold Tier” program.

The Martha’s Table Healthy Start Program is committed to excellence as we impact the lives of the youth we serve. It is our goal to engage and partner with parents to increase family success and become a strong resource for the families we serve.

There is a four-step process for enrollment in the education program that can take up to two weeks to complete. The process includes a pre-screening interview/orientation, completing enrollment paperwork, applying for the D.C. childcare subsidy, and meeting with education program leaders. Please keep in mind that failure to complete the enrollment paperwork and subsidy application within one week may forfeit your space in the education program.

Step One: Waitlist

Parents/guardians interested in enrolling their children in the Education Program must complete the waitlist application in person at Martha’s Table Healthy Start office. Once a space becomes available, a representative from the Education Department will contact you.

Preference is given to parents with currently enrolled children in the education program, to teen parents, and to the length of time on the waitlist, as well as eligibility for the DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) Child Care Services subsidy. Martha’s Table also has a few private pay slots available.

To inquire about space availability or more information, please contact us at

Step Two: Program Tour and Pre-Screening Interview

When space is available, the parent/guardian will be contacted for a pre-screening interview. Parents/Guardians have 48 hours to respond and schedule an intake meeting to initiate the enrollment process.

During the pre-screening interview, we will ask about previous OSSE subsidy admission forms, residency, employment, activity, and marital status. The pre-screening questions will determine your OSSE subsidy eligibility; inform you of your enrollment status and of the status of required enrollment documents.

If it is determined that you are not eligible for the OSSE subsidy, please keep in mind that there are a few slots available for private payment or scholarship. Scholarships have a different set of requirements and are only offered when available.

Step Three: Enrollment and Intake

Due to the number of families waiting for an available slot, the parent(s)/guardian(s) must submit the required documentation for enrollment within one week. Otherwise, the available slot will be forfeited. The required documentation can take some time to complete, so we highly recommend that you begin collecting information and filling out forms once you have been informed that a slot is available.

Required Enrollment Documents

The following documents must be completed for all students:

Other required documents must be completed, depending on your child’s age and medical status.

D.C. Office of the State Superintendent of Education Subsidized Childcare program
The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) subsidized childcare program is intended to offset the cost of childcare services. Upon enrollment, each parent/guardian has the opportunity to apply for subsidized childcare.

Martha’s Table is a Level II childcare provider and can conduct intake for parent(s)/guardian(s) in certain non-TANF eligibility categories. The Martha’s Table compliance department can determine your eligibility status during the pre-screening interview. Parent(s)/guardian(s) that can do the subsidy application at Martha’s Table will need to schedule an appointment for the subsidy intake. Appointments last between 30-45 minutes. All other eligibility categories will have to apply for the subsidy at 4001 South Capitol Street, SW.

During the subsidy intake appointment, parent(s)/guardian(s) must complete an application and submit documentation that proves:

  • Parent/guardian relationship with the child(ren) (i.e. birth certificate or adoption papers);
  • U.S. citizenship or legal status of the child(ren) (i.e. social security card);
  • D.C. residency;
  • Activity (such as employment, job training, or school) that is 20 hours or more a week during the time that childcare is provided; and
  • Income.

Additional documentation may be requested in order to determine your eligibility.

The Martha’s Table compliance department will outline the documentation needed to complete the application during the pre-screening interview. Parent(s)/guardian(s) have 30 days to complete the application, or it is no longer valid. Please keep in mind that the subsidy application falls within the one week enrollment process. Therefore, if the application is not completed along with the enrollment paperwork within one week, the open space is no longer guaranteed.

Please note that all families eligible for the subsidy must recertify each year in order to continue receiving subsidized childcare. Each year, the parent must provide proof of D.C. residency, activity (such as employment, job training, or school that is 20 hours or more a week during the time that childcare is provided), and income.

If it is determined that a family is not eligible for the subsidy, there may be a few private pay slots available as an option.

Step Four: Parent Meeting

After the enrollment paperwork is completed, the education program will schedule a meeting with the parent. During this time, the child and parent/guardian will have the opportunity to visit the classroom, meet the teacher, discuss your child’s needs, and discuss program policies and expectations with education program administration. Your child’s official start date will be determined at this meeting.