The Childcare Center at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent offers a safe, nurturing environment for children while their parents or guardians conduct business in court. The Center is for children aged one to 12 years and is a FREE resource for families, although a suggested $5 donation helps support the Center’s operations.
Drop-ins are welcome, but you also may make a reservation by calling (253) 854-5625.
The center operates Monday through Friday. Hours are:
Morning: 8:15 to 11:50am
Afternoon: 1:15 to 4:15pm
The Childcare Center is located on the 3rd floor of the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Room 3E.
Please watch this video about the Childcare Center produced by King County TV.
Under most circumstances, a courtroom is not a place for children. Descriptions of crime scenes, allegations of domestic violence, and contentious discussions of family legal matters can be hard even for adults to handle. Judges often find that they simply cannot allow children to be present.
Superior Court’s drop-in Childcare Center offers a nurturing alternative to the courtroom. Children are served a nutritious snack both in the morning and in the afternoon, and a wide range of developmentally appropriate activities is available. Children can choose to play with games and puzzles, blocks, toys in the housekeeping area, dolls, trucks, books, and artwork. Story time also is a daily event.
The Childcare Center is licensed through the Washington State Department of Early Learning and is operated by Children’s Home Society of Washington (CHSW), which is Washington's oldest and largest statewide organization serving children. (The court provides the space, and CHSW provides the staff.) CHSW has extensive experience working with children who may be experiencing stress as a result of family strife.
When the Center opened in 1997, it was the first and only court-based childcare center in the Pacific Northwest. In 2001, the Center was renamed the ‘Jon and Bobbe Bridge Childcare Center’ to recognize the charitable work of Jon and Bobbe Bridge. Justice Bridge was instrumental in establishing the Center when she served as Superior Court’s Presiding judge, and she and her husband provided critical funding in the Center's early years.
The Center also receives support from Superior Court jurors, who are invited to donate their $10 per diem to the Center. A significant number of jurors accept this invitation. Annual juror donations, together with other private contributions, now fully support the Center.
The Center can serve up to 12 children at any one time and serves more than 125 children each month.