At, we realize that cost of care is a big consideration for families. That's why we are offering an estimate which is based on an average of known rates charged by similar businesses in the area. For actual rates, contact the business directly.

Details and information displayed here were provided by this business and may not reflect its current status. We strongly encourage you to perform your own research when selecting a care provider.

Details and information displayed here were provided by this business and may not reflect its current status. We strongly encourage you to perform your own research when selecting a care provider.

Now offering a summer camp program with weekly themes, crafts, activities, fitness classes, art class, science, music, "My Gym," STEM and so much more! We are also enrolling for Fall classes. Sign up fo Fall classes by June and receive one week Free!
In business since: 2006
Total Employees: 2-10
Awards & Accreditations
Voted one of the best day cares in DMV area by CBS news,
Members of NAFCC, NAEYC and Child Care Aware.

Exploring, Learning and Fun offers an assistance program for qualifying families that serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corp.

Through Childcare Aware, we also offer Child Care Subsidy assistance for qualifying families.


State license status: Two Year ( verified on 6/27/2022)
This business has satisfied Virginia's requirements to be licensed. For the most up-to-date status and inspection reports, please view this provider's profile on Virginia's licensing website.
Licensing requirements typically include:
  • Complying with safety and health inspections
  • Achieving the required levels of educational training
  • Maintaining a minimum caregiver-to-child ratio
  • Other state-defined requirements


Monday :
7:00AM - 6:00PM
Tuesday :
7:00AM - 6:00PM
Wednesday :
7:00AM - 6:00PM
Thursday :
7:00AM - 6:00PM
Friday :
7:00AM - 6:00PM
Saturday :
Sunday :
Teacher/Student Ratio:
Program Capacity:

Cost & Availability

At, we realize that cost of care is a big consideration for families. That's why we are offering an estimate which is based on an average of known rates charged by similar businesses in the area. For actual rates, contact the business directly.
Class Type Availability *
Infant --
Toddler --
Preschool --
Pre-K --
All Ages --
Full Time (5 days/wk)
Part Time (1-4 days/wk)
Half-Day (Morning)
Extended Care (After School)
  • Personal Check|
  • Cash|
  • Credit Card

Ratings & Reviews

( 15)
Jami B
I can't explain enough how amazing Exploring, Learning and Fun is! Our daughter went from being a very shy kid, playing by herself, not talking much to this bright, outgoing kiddo ready to play and play and play! At 18 months they had her doing sign language for simple things like milk, all done, please, thank you, water, food... it was just amazing. She's two and half now and loves going to "school" everyday! She has science class, cooking class, Spanish, knows her ABCs, is counting, knows all of her colors, they play "market" and that provides them with a little math and business skills too... she's just learning so much and is so proud every time she learns something new. All of the teachers are great and the child/teacher ratios are very low. Mrs. Mary provides home cooked breakfast and lunch as well as healthy snacks throughout the day, and they also ALWAYS get play time. Rain, snow or shine! On gloomy rainy days or when its too cold, they pull out the bounce house and have inside play! I also have to mention that they have an amazing summer program/camp and also parents night out once a month! We can't be anymore grateful to have found ELF. Its a game changer.
My toddler started at ELF a couple months ago, and since starting she has come such a long way. At first she was a little nervous, but now she is so excited to go everyday. She's learned so many words, songs, and done countless crafts. Mary is so easy going, easy to chat with, and genuinely loves each child. The kids spend loads of time outside. And Mary goes above and beyond making sure they eat adventurous and healthy food. I feel like its more than just a place for her to be while I'm at work, she is growing so much from being there.
Elisabeth W
The best home daycare!! My two 8 year old daughters attend ELF and they love every moment being there. I would come to pick them up after work and they always wanted to stay longer. Whenever I pick them up from ELF they always go on and on about how much fun they've had and all the different activities they were able to enjoy. The owner, Mary Gray, is awesome. My girls love her as well all the other teaching aids. I love knowing that my children attend a daycare that is clean, safe, comfortable, warm and fun. If you want excellent quality child care, ELF is definitely the place for you and your family.
Mackenzie S
I interviewed at ELF in my second trimester knowing the availability for home day cares in northern Virginia was slim. I instantly knew and felt ELF would be a wonderful place for my child to attend. Unfortunately, they did not have an availability when I had to go back to work after my daughter was born. Even though my daughter was attending another daycare, I still felt ELF would be better for her so I contacted the owner, Mary. Mary got back to me that day that an availability recent came up and that she would be love to have my daughter.

My husband and I feel blessed that our daughter is part of the ELF family. The teachers genuinely care about the children as if they are family and it is very apparent my daughter loves the teachers. She gives them the biggest smile when she sees them. We know our daughter is well cared for by the development skills she receives, healthy meals, and the affection she gets all day. We look forward to the many years ahead our daughter is with the ELF family.
Abigail H
My toddler goes to ELF part time. She LOVES Miss Mary! My husband's only complaint is that she doesn't want to leave at the end of the day. They work with us on reaching her milestones. She's ahead of the curve thanks to their work with her and trying to keep up with the older toddlers. Highly recommended!
Sara G
Our four-year old twins were fortunate to participate in the summer program at ELF. We relocated to the area from Illinois, and were interested in creating a smooth and gradual transition for our son and daughter. Miss Mary was incredibly accommodating to me when I was making my decision: she conducted a virtual tour of the facilities using FaceTime. Once we were in the area, we came by for an in-person tour. The facility is spacious, inviting, and exceptionally clean. There are a variety of spaces that support instruction, play, and care for children. The facility has all of the benefits of an in-home daycare, without any of the drawbacks - ALL of the space is reserved for the ELF program.

Mary and her staff are warm and loving people. They brightened my day each morning as they greeted my children and I. They are talented at welcoming a child who is feeling shy or scared, and they quickly learn how to make each child feel loved and special. It is clear that Mary and her staff genuinely love and enjoy what they do. Mary also brings in a variety of teachers for supplementary programs in art and Spanish that my kids truly enjoyed!

The activities, learning, and care provided during the summer program were both creative and entertaining to my children. Each week was planned around a different Disney film, and often, the teachers were as excited as the children - if not more! There were a variety of field trips and guest speakers to keep the children anticipating each new week.

Mary's program has been a special gift to our family. They've supported and loved our children from day one, while maintaining the utmost professionalism. I highly recommend ELF to everyone with infants-preschoolers!
Denise G
We were lucky to have been referred to E.L.F by friends who's daughter was enrolled. We were nervous about home-based care since we had been using a nanny to care for our infant twin boys. Miss Mary quickly put all our concerns to rest during our first visit. She took the time to explain the well thought out educational setting she has created in her home and the curriculum that is used. During our visit the boys enjoyed exploring the various areas of the center. The center is warm and inviting and we could just tell the boys were going to enjoy learning and playing there.

The staff is amazing. My boys get excited on the way to the center in the morning and love knocking on the door to get in. At the end of the day they are excited to see us, but sad to say good by to their friends and teachers. I love the feeling that my boys feel loved and safe in Miss Mary's care.

Communication was/is something that we were concerned about when we were exploring childcare options. Communication with the staff at E.L.F. has been amazing. I have never had a conversation with the staff and walked away thinking that they just weren't understanding what I was trying to say. Miss Mary is usually on the same wavelength on most topics and often times brings things up right before I was going to address them. The use of in person chats, phone calls, text messages, and emails has worked well. The daily blog and newsletter during the school year helps us reinforce and build upon the themes learned during the day at home. The nutritious meal are amazing and she has been fantastic accommodating our one son's food sensitivities (she even helped us identify some of them.)

Our boys have thrived as individuals at E.L.F. and I am amazed everyday by how much they know and have retained from the curriculum. Ms. Mary has been an invaluable resource on a wide range of infant/toddler topics and we see here as a true family member/team mate in this adventure with the boys.
Virginia R
ELF is a great daycare/ preschool. My daughter had a great experience there. All the teachers are very caring and patient with the kids. They provide the children with a lot of opportunities to learn during well structured classes and free play. The professionals of ELF are very concerned with the children's welfare and safety, and seek to ensure their well-being throughout the daily activities. The curriculum is very rich and enables the children to acquire the skills they will need entering kindergarten. I had visited several daycare and preschools before enrolling my daughter at ELF, and can say without reservation that it is very hard to find a place that offers a complete package as ELF does. My family was really happy with the care and teaching offered. Although, my daughter is not attending ELF anymore, since I am at home full-time now, she still comes to visit the teachers and her friends at ELF.
Christina H
E.L.F. is the perfect place for my daughter to spend her days! After having a previous not-so-pleasant daycare experience (that lasted all of a week), and looking around for what seemed like forever, my husband and I feel so blessed to have found this daycare. Right from the start I knew Ms. Mary and the other teachers were interested in knowing who my daughter was as an individual, not just as a child to fill a slot. This genuine interest has translated into genuine love for my happy little two- year-old, who walks into E.L.F. like it's her second home.
The three most important things for me when choosing a daycare for my daughter were safety, teacher/parent communication, and learning opportunities.
My daughter has been at E.L.F. for almost this entire school year now, and has been sick only 1 time! It is a very clean and organized, but at the same time relaxed and comfortable environment. Because of the small teacher-student ratio and how vigilant the teachers are, I know she is being carefully supervised and being taught to socialize respectfully with her peers. E.L.F. teachers are consistently positive and intentional with the way they speak to the children. As far as the food served, my daughter eats better at E.L.F. than she does at home! Everything is well-balanced and home-made, and I always know ahead of time what will be served. I cannot say enough about the peace-of-mind I have when leaving her in E.L.F.'s care.
Communication goes above and beyond my expectations. The teachers consistently share what topics are being learned and the activities children participate in. I love the individual anecdotes and the abundant photographs. When I pick my daughter up, her teachers are always forthcoming in sharing about her day, what she's learned, milestones, or just cute things she has said. I am always welcomed in for these conversations, never rushed out. I have learned so many tricks of the trade (being a mom of a toddler) from Ms. Mary. If she or I have ever had a concern, we have worked through it together, the safety and development of my child being our shared goal. I can reach E.L.F. by phone, text, or email, making communication routine and convenient.
My daughter has learned a ton about a variety of age appropriate topics including weather, community helpers, and friendship. She gets to participate in such a variety of high-interest activities like singing and dancing, art projects, cooperative games, reading activities, cooking and taste-testing, ongoing projects, learning Spanish, interactive ipad games, outdoor play, and holiday celebrations. I can see in the photos and in how excited she is to be there each day that she is having a blast!
It really feels like once your child is at E.L.F. you (and your child, of course) have become part of the family!
Katie S
Our 2 year old daughter was the first to join E.L.F and our second daughter became a member of the E.L.F family at 12 weeks. Finding a daycare that would fit the needs of both of our girls was not an easy task...then we found E.L.F and we knew our search was over.

The E.L.F curriculum is structured to provide lessons that fit every learning style. Our 2 year old loves to sing! From the weekly music class to the lessons that include songs for learning she is happy and thriving in the E.L.F. environment. Our 8 month old also enjoys a curriculum catered to her ever expanding view of the world. The babies blog helps us reinforce the concepts she is learning each day and we love to see her perk up when we sing a song or read a book she has heard before at E.L.F.

We also love the creative arts and crafts that come home each week. We have decorated our family room with the latest and greatest works of art from our two little artists. The traced foot tulip garden and hand print trees from our 8 month old and the house made out of shapes and tissue paper flower from our 2 year old are among the family favorites.

E.L.F is a truly wonderful environment with teachers that love, care, and respect every child that walks through the door.
Sossy M
This is the best daycare. It's run so well - every little detail is taken care of and covered. My daughter loves it there and loves every.single.teacher. She has learned so much and is always coming home repeating all her letters, numbers, days of the week, etc (at 2). She had such a hard time separating from me and never would until ELF. Now she separates just fine and never wants to leave. Miss Mary loves each of these children - you can tell on how she interacts with them and how the children just adore her. She runs ELF so efficiently that I never have to worry about anything and for a mom that really means everything.
Andrea J
The moment I met the owner, Mary, and toured ELF, I knew it was the right fit for us. I like to describe ELF as having the cozy, personalized feeling of a home-based daycare with all the professionalism of a larger center. I welcomed the pile of forms and questionnaires (ie, health records, permission slips, food allergies and preferences, emergency contacts, etc.) Mary gave me to complete our daughter's enrollment. It made me confident that she operates her daycare like a business that is in accordance with state and county regulations.

Our daughter has learned so much since being enrolled at ELF. Mary designs a curriculum for each age group and every week has a new theme. Our daughter has learned her fruits, colors, and some numbers through singing, reading, playing, and demonstration. I love the blog reports that I receive daily describing what she's learned and how they went about it! And I cherish the art projects she brings home. She's also developing socially and enjoys playing with the other toddlers in her group.

Not only does ELF keep me up-to-date on activities through the blog, but I also get text updates, especially when our daughter first started. If I'm worried she's not eating well or may be extra tired or not feeling great, they will text me with updates about how she's doing.

Most importantly, our 19-month-old daughter loves ELF daycare and so do we! Mary and her staff treat our daughter with the same love and care as if she was one of their own. We can't imagine trusting our daughter's care to anyone else. I highly recommend ELF without any reservation.
Emily M
As a parent, nothing is more important than the health & safety of your children. For working parents, it is imperative to find a daycare where you can leave your children & know that they are in the next best place outside of being home with mommy & daddy. ELF daycare gives both my husband & I that piece of mind, knowing that they love our daughter as though she was their own. Our daughter has flourished by leaps and bounds developmentally, physically and socially since she started attending ELF daycare. I would highly recommend ELF daycare to anyone looking for exceptional childcare. The entire staff is highly qualified, and make each child & parent feel part of their family.
Michael G
I called to inquire and never got a call back. That is bad business practice. Also remember to review inspection results from the state of Virginia.
Reply from E.L.F. Exploring, Learning And Fun
Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention. I'm so sorry you never received a call back from us! I do try to respond to each of our requests online and messages left by phone. Again, please accept my apologies and if you have any questions please feel free to contact me anytime!
Lynn A
I was on a hunt for the perfect daycare for my two daughters. I was never satistified with the childcare providers in the past. My children have been to home daycare providers and daycare centers and they all were never really the right fit for my two precious gems. ELF provided a warm, loving, peaceful, "home -like" learning environment . When I dropped my children off at ELF, I went to work with my mind at ease. My children always came home happy. Now that they are a little older and moved on they still miss the warmth and love at ELF. To me that speaks volumes!

Thank you ELF for always going above and beyond my expectations for the care of my children. We will never forget you!

-Lynn and Chris
Reply from E.L.F. Exploring, Learning And Fun
Thank you so much for the kind words, I wish you and your little ones all the best!
Now offering a summer camp program with weekly themes, crafts, activities, fitness classes, art class, science, music, "My Gym," STEM and so much more! We are also enrolling for Fall classes. Sign up fo Fall classes by June and receive one week Free!
Add Another child
Mon Wed Fri
Tues Thur
Mornings All Day
Join free today
Sign up now! It only takes a few minutes.
What best describes you?
Thanks—you're almost there.
Create your login below.