Child Development and Learning Center

Contact Information
Contact Information

The Child Development and Learning Center is located on the third floor of the Graduate Center in Suite 3201. The Center is licensed to serve 27 children aged two through five. Depending on enrollment needs, our classrooms are divided into two multi-age groups or a younger group and an older group.

The program is available to children of matriculated students enrolled at the Graduate Center. Only registered students are permitted use of the center. Each semester, a verification of enrollment status is conducted in conjunction with the Office of the Registrar. If you take a leave of absence or withdraw from classes your child is not eligible to remain in the program.  

Graduate Center student parents have the first priority for child care slots. Once Graduate Center student parents are recruited and enrolled and the Center’s waiting list has been exhausted, any remaining slots may be filled by Faculty and Staff.

More Information

The mission of the GSUC Child Development and Learning Center is to provide a safe, nurturing educational environment for children of Graduate Center students, faculty and staff and their families through intellectual stimulation and emotional support while serving as a lab school.

The Child Development and Learning Center is committed to providing a play-based, developmentally appropriate early childhood education for the preschool children of Graduate Center studentsfaculty and staff. The Center also serves as a lab school for faculty and students doing research pertinent to pre-school children. Individual research, which is approved by the IRB, will only be done with parent’s written consent

One of the Center’s main goals is to develop an atmosphere of trust in which each child is valued as an individual. We believe that a successful program is child-oriented, and provides a secure and nurturing environment that encourages the development of self-expression, confidence, and enthusiasm for learning. We recognize that children are developing at the physical, social-emotional, and cognitive levels during this time.  Our program places particular emphasis on the social-emotional development to create and foster a strong foundation for future academic learning.

Children in the Center are able to engage with open-ended materials and activities that allow them to construct and recreate their own learning experiences each day. Further, through information from parents, observation, and interaction with the children, teachers plan activities that reflect the needs and interests of the children. Although the Center always appears informal, the program and environment are the result of careful planning and structuring to meet individual and group goals.

Play and exploration are valued as two of the most important means by which learning takes place. Therefore, the emphasis on all projects and activities is on the process of interacting with the materials and integration of knowledge rather than the acquisition of specific academic skills.

To apply to enroll your child in the Child Development and Learning Center, you must schedule an appointment with the Interim Director, Molly Polin-Kane, after your child’s first birthday. You can contact Molly Polin-Kane via phone or email and schedule a tour. The best times to schedule your tour are Monday-Friday between 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. At the time of the tour, you will be able to fill out a waitlist application.

The Center accepts children ages two through five years old, and enrollment typically follows the academic calendar with students starting in the fall semester.

The cost of CUNY Childcare is subsidized through the State Higher Education budget. Therefore, student parents pay a reduced fee of $43.00 per day. The fee for faculty and staff is $60 per day.  All parents must commit to enrolling their children for at least 3 days per week. Parents are billed twice each year: fall semester (17 weeks) and spring semester, which includes June (23 weeks). Absences and holidays are included in the tuition amount.

In addition to the tuition fee, parents are required to pay a one-time $100.00 non-refundable registration fee at the time of enrollment and a snack fee of $50.00 each semester.  Parents are also required to participate in the center’s fundraising efforts. These fundraising activities help to keep tuition fees affordable for all parents. During the school year, the Center sponsors three fundraising events as follows: a fall bake sale, which requires all parents to donate baked goods; a silent auction, which requires all parents to donate an item; and a plant sale, which requires all parents to donate plants.

The Center observes the Graduate School calendar. In addition, the Center is open for three weeks during the month of January and the entire month of June. The daily hours of operation are:

3-4-5’s classes
Monday to Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Friday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

2-3’s classes
Monday to Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.
Friday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 

The teaching staff helps parents to develop individualized schedules that meet the specific needs of each child and family.

Starting school is a big step in your child’s life. It can also be a curious, exciting and anxious time for parents and children. A welcome party for all newly enrolled families is scheduled in June. This event is an opportunity for the children to meet their teachers and classmates and to become familiar with the new environment. Additionally, teachers mail a note introducing themselves to each child prior to the beginning of the school year. Our orientation program usually begins in August, the week prior to the start of classes. Detailed schedules are mailed to parents during the month of July. During the adjustment week, we ask that parents remain in the classroom with their children and gradually, children attend independently. This format allows parents, teachers and children to get to know each other and helps each child to adjust to school at his/her own pace.

children's art from the CDLC

Children's Art Gallery

Enjoy a selection of fingerpaintings, crafts, and other works of art created by children in the CLDC!

Explore the art gallery