On Campus Child Care

How do I apply for a place at an on-campus child care center?

You may apply to one or more Campus Child Care centers using the online application system. The link is available from any one of the centers’ enrollment or application pages (you can find the centers' website links here). Please note that this online application has been designed as a convenience for families. Data entered into this application sits on a secure Harvard server, but child care centers make

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How do the on-campus child care centers decide who gets a space?

Each center offers spaces to current families first, giving returning children and siblings priority. Preference is then given to Harvard affiliates according to a tier system established by the university. Harvard faculty who are eligible for the ACCESS Program are considered Tier 1A and have priority enrollment on up to half of child care center slots. Preference is then given to other benefits-eligible faculty, staff and postdoctoral fellows on a regular Harvard

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How should I decide which child care center(s) to apply to?

Child care centers vary in their characteristics and cultures, as well as in their locations and sizes. We encourage you to get to know individual centers before making the decision to apply. Please visit their web sites, attend open houses, or make appointments to visit if possible. You can find contact information and website links on this information sheet. Some families apply to just one center, and others choose to apply to all

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Do slots in Harvard's on-campus child care centers ever open up mid-year?

Each center requires parents to sign a contract. Enrollment is focused around the academic calendar, with new enrollment concentrated in the fall. While there are sometimes mid- year enrollments, most children remain in their programs for the length of the contract. If your care needs fall outside of this schedule, please reach out to centers individually. They can sometimes pair two families with matching needs.

How can I increase my odds of getting a slot at one of the on-campus child care centers?

Provide accurate information. We rely on accurate information entered into the online application system to be able to contact families. Please be sure to enter all relevant information carefully and completely. Please be sure to include an HUID, if applicable. If you do not yet have an HUID, please be sure return to your application and provide it as soon as you can. If you are new to Harvard as a staff or faulty member or degree student and do not have a Harvard ID number, you can contact the

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How long are the waiting lists for the on-campus child care centers, and what does my position on a waiting list mean?

Waiting lists should really be called “application lists,” because they do tell us who is actually waiting and would take a spot if offered. Families may have their names on several lists at the same time, and may leave their name on a waiting list even once they are enrolled elsewhere. In addition, you may be waiting only for a full time space, and someone who applied after you and wants a part-time spot may be offered a space first if that opens (or vice versa). Within each

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What are my chances of getting a place at one of the on-campus child care centers?

The child-care centers are very popular and receive many applications. Certain classrooms may fill up quickly. There are approximately 380 full-time equivalent slots, and typically half open annually, due to child and family graduation and family mobility.

Even if you are applying “late,” however, don't assume that they are full and that it’s not worth applying. This is a fluid population and things can change quickly. The Office of Work/Life encourages families to apply to a

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If I apply to one of the campus child care centers, have I applied to them all?

 

No, families must apply to each center individually. You can apply to one or more centers using the universal online application, available at the web sites of each of the centers. You will only need to enter your family’s information once. You will need to indicate, however, which centers you wish to receive your application by checking the relevant boxes.

 

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Why are the on-campus child care center tuition costs so high?

The cost of high quality child care is in the number and qualifications of caregivers. An overwhelming body of evidence connects educated and experienced caregivers, small group sizes, and low teacher-to-child ratios with high-quality early-childhood programs. Centers have a longstanding commitment to investing in recruiting and retaining skilled and experienced teachers. Across the six centers, most teachers have BA, MA or higher degrees; many group sizes are smaller and teacher/child ratios are lower than both National Association for the

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