Claire Sifton, 82, a playwright and a former education specialist at the U.S. Children's Bureau here, died Feb. 9 at a doctor's laboratory in Oaxaca, Mexico, after a heart attack.

A resident of Oaxaca and Bailey's Island, Maine, Mrs. Sifton had lived in Washington from 1938 to 1962.

With her late husband, Paul, a former newspaperman and lobbyist for the United Auto Workers, Mrs. Sifton wrote several plays, including "The Belt," a drama about automobile workers that was produced in New York in 1927 and "Midnight" and "Blood on the Moon." She also wrote a book on child care, "The Perfect Baby."

Mrs. Sifton joined the children's bureau in the 1940s as a consultant and did free-lance consulting for the National Education Association. She also was active here in the Union of Democratic Action, a predecessor of Americans for Democratic Action.

She was born in Oampos, in the state of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, where her parents were missionaries. She earned a master's degree from the University of Missouri, where she also taught journalism.

She and her husband were married in 1922. Mr. Sifton died in 1972.

Survivors include two sons, Paul, of Washington and Charles, a federal judge in New York City, and three grandchildren.