Admission to the Early Learning Center

Application Procedures

Enrollment for fall programs takes place in spring (and, on occasion, as an opening arises). Enrollment begins with students from the waiting list followed by new applications. The waiting list "rolls over" from year to year.

Admissions Policies

Priorities are as follows:           

  1. Children enrolled at present. The exception to this is that admission to the infant room does not guarantee admission to the toddler room. Acceptance to the toddler room will follow the priorities detailed below.
  2. Siblings of Hampshire children enrolled at present. Siblings are defined as children concurrently attending the center.
  3. Waitlist children of new Hampshire-affiliated families. Hampshire affiliation is defined as follows: at least one of the child's parents or primary caregivers is a student, benefitted faculty, staff member, or administrator at Hampshire College, whether full or part-time, including Five College faculty based at Hampshire College, but excluding those whose employment contract or expected period of employment is for a period of less than a full academic year.
  4. Siblings of other children enrolled at present. Five College first; then community.
  5. Five College-affiliated families on the waiting list. First priority in this category to "Cultural Village" employees, e.g. Eric Carle Museum, Yiddish Book Center, and also Hampshire College alums.
  6. Community families. The ELC accepts families with childcare vouchers.

Admission to the toddler room will follow these priorities:

  1. Hampshire families enrolled at present.
  2. Siblings of Hampshire families enrolled at present.
  3. New Hampshire-affiliated families.
  4. Non-Hampshire families (first Five College; then community) enrolled at present.
  5. Siblings of "other" families ( first Five College, then community) enrolled at present.
  6. New Five College families.
  7. New community families.

Once children are admitted to the toddler room, they are guaranteed enrollment until kindergarten-eligible.

Enrollment into the program does not guarantee schedule requests.

Affirmative Action Policy

The Hampshire College Early Learning Center is committed to the goal of multi-racial and multi-cultural diversity in staffing and enrollment. Beyond its adherence to the principle of non-discrimination, the center will strive, whenever possible, to achieve greater racial and cultural diversity among the children and families it serves, as well as among its staff and student assistants. Therefore, families identifying their members as belonging to federally-designated minority groups (African-American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian/Pacific Islanders) will be given priority in admissions, within each admissions priority category.

Age, Gender, and Scheduling Needs:

The age and gender of the incoming child and the child care scheduling needs of the family are also important considerations in enrollment decision making.

Age of children for placement in a group is computed as of August 1.

Due to variables of age, gender, affirmative action, socio-economics, and scheduling needs, admission and schedules may be at the discretion of the director.


Tuition fees are computed on a yearly basis, with families billed monthly, a month in advance.


Application for Admission

The Early Learning Center is currently accepting applications for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers for the 2024-2025 academic year. Applications for the waitlist can be submitted throughout the year.