When will I find out if my child will have a spot at the ELC? What is the timeline for enrollment decisions?
We send out an e-mail to the families on the waiting list by early December of each year to find out if you are still interested in enrollment at the ELC and to ask for contact information updates. We want to be sure that when we have an opening for your child that we have contact information that is current so the communication process goes smoothly and to ensure that you get all of the information we send promptly, giving you the most possible time to decide whether you’d like to accept or decline the spot offer.
Following this step, we update the waiting list and in January, begin working on enrollment for that summer and fall. We typically send out the first enrollment offer communication in late January or early February, and this process typically lasts until between March and May. Each time we offer a spot to one family, they have about a week to make the decision to accept or decline, and each time a family declines, we move to another family on the list and send out that offer. The infant and young toddler classrooms fill up with confirmed acceptances earliest, while the process of enrolling the older toddler and preschool classrooms lasts a bit longer.
When do spots open up? Why are spots only open at one time of year?
Due to the value we place on continuity of relationships and respect for the sensitivity of transitions for young children, we do not move children up to the next classroom throughout the year following a birthday or accomplishment of a developmental milestone, as many other programs do. Instead, we protect the consistency of the community and relationships, which we believe impacts children’s development in such positive ways, by enrolling children in a classroom for at least one year. This practice affects enrollment by limiting most of our openings to occurring between June and August. We do, however, sometimes have mid-year openings; inevitably, a few spots open up throughout the year in various classrooms as families move out of town, etc. When we receive an exit notice, we go to the waiting list and offer the spot to a family on the list, moving through families on the list until one accepts the spot.
How soon can I expect to get a spot after submitting an application?
We are a relatively small program in high demand, which means that only a small percentage of the families on the list are able to enroll for the infant and young toddler year. Beginning with older toddlers and continuing into the preschool years, the number of available spots increases, and the waiting list volume decreases. These factors translate into an increasing likelihood that we will be able to enroll your child in the coming years. Most of the families on the waiting list are offered a spot at some point; waiting time following application submission varies.
We know that if you have visited the ELC and feel that it is a good fit for your child and family, it is hard to wait for the opportunity to enroll. It is our goal to make the enrollment process as transparent as we can, and to help you understand the factors and procedure so that you have a realistic idea of what the timeline might look like. Any families interested in more information about the program, curriculum, and environment are invited to reserve a spot at an upcoming open house to tour the program, see the classrooms, and talk with a director or teacher.
Thank you for your interest in our program! It’s our desire to be able to work with your family in the future.