Family Center

Childcare Program

Accepting Applications for Fall 2024

The Family Center is a nurturing, supportive learning community for families who are looking for a childcare or daycare option that provides something more for you and your child. Under the care and supervision of our highly qualified teachers and child development experts, children ages 6 months through 5 years are encouraged to make meaning of the world around them by exploring their environment, interacting with their peers, and learning about the diversity within their community. Serving approximately 56 families each year, our early childhood program on New York City’s Upper West Side includes two infant and toddler classrooms (children under 3) and two preschool classrooms (children ages 3-5).

Families may apply to either our General Education Program or our Preschool Special Education Program. Our fully inclusive setting means that children in both programs share the same classroom, and teachers individualize activities to meet each child’s physical, emotional, language, and cognitive needs.

The Family Center understands that family members are the most important people in the lives of young children. We invite and encourage you to visit and participate throughout the day.

We are no longer accepting applications to our Special Education program.

Application Request Form     Request Information

How to Apply

Children must be aged 6 months – 4.9 years as calculated in September. The program is open from September to mid-August.

Tuition assistance is available. Scholarships are based on financial need, and any family may apply.

  • General Education Applicants

    A $65 non-refundable application fee must be submitted with your general education application for consideration. After applying, families will be contacted to come in for a classroom observation and interview. Admissions notices will be mailed in February and will include financial aid information for those who qualify. Families must reply by March (exact date TBD) to secure their space in the Family Center.

    Both full-time and part-time care is available for this program (8:00 AM–3:00 PM or 8:00 AM–6:00 PM three to five days per week).

  • Special Education Applicants

    There is no application fee for special education applicants. After applying, families will be contacted in March to attend small groups of play-based assessments with clinicians and special educators to determine whether an appropriate placement can be offered in the Family Center. Qualified applicants will be scheduled for interviews in April. Families will receive notification of admission in late spring.

    The Special Education Program is available five days a week from 8:00 AM–1:30 PM.

  • Tuition & Financial Aid

    2023-24 tuition rates for the general education program are below.

    Full Day:

    • 3 days/week, 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM: $29,560
    • 4 days/week, 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM: $39,410
    • 5 days/week, 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM: $46,390

    Extended Day:

    • 3 days/week, 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM, $32,640
    • 4 days/week, 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM: $43,550
    • 5 days/week, 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM: $51,220

    We believe that diversity enriches the educational opportunity for all families and participation among a wide range of families is critical to the health of the school. We regard socioeconomic diversity as a core educational value and we dedicate a significant portion of our annual operating budget to supporting Financial Aid. Awards are based on the demonstrated financial need of a family.

    How to Apply for Financial Aid

  • Our Curriculum

    Our work at the Family Center is grounded in the developmental-interaction approach. Developmental refers to the understanding of patterns of growth for people of all ages. Interaction encompasses the children’s interaction with the environment, with children and adults, and with materials.

    We believe that it is our role as educators to support the development of each child’s competence, autonomy, individuality, and creativity by offering them meaningful hands-on experiences and opportunities to connect with those around them. We nurture each child’s social relatedness, specifically their ability to care for others, form friendships, and embrace diversity. We see children as individuals with their own thoughts, feelings, and experiences and we work tirelessly to honor what is within each of them.


Infant-Toddler Classrooms

Our infant-toddler program supports young children as they separate from their caregivers and form trusting relationships with their teachers. We know that this process is different for each child and we work with parents to make decisions about each child’s readiness to separate.

Play is also at the heart of our work with infants and toddlers. We see our youngest children as scientists who spend their days testing out hypotheses. This might happen during free play when children explore the properties of flour by digging into it at a sensory table or when they observe the properties of water when they jump in puddles on outings. We believe that real learning happens when children can investigate, create, and explore in environments carefully designed to inspire wonder and joy.

Teacher and young child play with markers

Preschool Classrooms

Preschoolers at the Family Center explore in their classrooms, in other areas of Bank Street, and in the neighborhood around us in ways that nurture their curiosity and expand their thinking. In our classrooms, children create art, tell stories, dramatize their experiences, build, and so much more. While our teachers are always thinking about what might come next for children developmentally, we are also committed to living in the moment and getting to know children in deep and meaningful way.
Child and teacher do art activity

Preschool and Pre-K Programs

in the Family Center and School for Children
The Family Center at Bank Street College is a full-day, year-round childcare program for children between the ages of 6 months to 5 years. The program is fully inclusive and offers both general education and special education services in an integrated setting.

The Bank Street School for Children (SFC) is an ongoing school for children, ages 3–14 years old. Its preschool program is for children who are 3 years old by September 1 of the year of entry; its prekindergarten program is for children who are 4 years old by September 1. Children who join these programs begin their educational journeys by laying foundational relationships with teachers, friends, and families that serve them throughout their time at Bank Street School for Children.

SFC Preschool SFC Pre-K