Frequently Asked Questions


When do you start taking application information for the following year?

After October 15, and usually until late November (depending on how many inquiries we receive).

When can I expect to receive the actual application?

Applications are mailed in December, only after you’ve been contacted and have scheduled an information session (held in early January).

I contacted the Toddler Center in October, and I didn’t hear anything back. What should I do?

We contact families in mid-December to schedule a required information session.  If you haven’t heard from us by late December: e-mail us at, before the end of December, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible to arrange an information session.

I can’t come to any of the information sessions. Can I still apply?

The information sessions are required for all applying parents.  They take place the first or second week of January.  Only one parent needs to attend an information session.

How do you decide whom to take at the Toddler Center?

Our decisions are based on multiple factors. Priority (although not a guarantee) is given to returning families and employees of Barnard College.  Based on the research conducted here and the education of college students, we take an even number of boys and girls, and have an age distribution within each class.  In addition, we strive for a diverse group of toddlers for each class.

Is financial assistance available? If I apply for financial assistance, will I be at a disadvantage in applying?

We are fortunate to be able to provide financial assistance to many families.  Financial assistance is available to all in need, and applying parents are encouraged to fill out a financial aid form.  Financial assistance does not factor into whom we take at the Toddler Center, except that we try to assure that at least 25-30% of children are receiving financial assistance.

How much does it cost to send my child to the Toddler Center?

Tuition is set on a yearly basis.  Because we offer financial assistance, the amount that parents pay varies.  We don’t want tuition costs to deter any parent who is thinking of applying to the Toddler Center program.  Apply and we will work with you as best we can.


When can I come to visit the Toddler Center?

When applying for the upcoming school year, prospective parents will come to observe a class in late January/early February.  If you want to observe a morning class or a Wednesday afternoon class, you can come Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday between 9:45 and 11:15 a.m. or Wednesday between 1:45 and 3:15 p.m.  If you want to observe a Toddler II: M/Th pm class (for older two's) come Monday or Thursday between 1:45 and 3:15 p.m. 

We do not have classes at other times.

Do I need to schedule a visit ahead of time?

No.  Just come during one of the days and times listed above, and sign your name on the door so that we’ll know that you completed your visit.  Visits for prospective families are only available once you have attend an Information Session.  For the upcoming school year, prospective visits will take place in late January - early February.  You will hear more details during Information Sessions.

Is there anything else I should know about visiting?

When you arrive, wait until all of the children have entered the classroom (after 9:45 or 1:45) before you enter the observation room. There should be no children in the hallway when you’re coming or going (children don’t know about the room).  In the same way, you should leave the observation room before the children have finished with class.

Food, drinks, and cell phones are all prohibited inside the observation room.  Be sure cell phones are turned off—for texting, messages or calls.  Photographing/video taping of any kind is not permitted.  And please use your phone sparingly in the hallway, as we share the floor with academic departments and classrooms at Barnard.