Life in Buffalo

Children playing and learning in UB's Childcare center

Child Care And Public Schooling

Information for International Students, Scholars and Employees with Children

Child care centers, “day care” centers and pre-schools are established settings that, in New York, are strictly regulated by the State. While there are many day care centers and preschools near the University at Buffalo, admission to a day care center may require a waiting period and/or can be very costly. As a result, most students and scholars find it helpful to postpone the arrival of their dependents until after arrangements for housing and child care have been made.

What is Child Care like in New York State?

  • In New York State, child or day care centers are established settings that are strictly regulated by the State.
  • New York State assumes responsibility for monitoring the total number of children enrolled, provider-to-child ratios, and compliance with health and safety regulations.
  • The State also establishes guidelines for the educational requirements of the staff and requires pre-approval of educational program content.
  • Child care centers can care for large groups of children (more than 15) and are required to separate the children by age groups.
  • These centers have set hours of service, payment and staffing, as well as routines for play and nutrition.

Does the University at Buffalo offer child care?

  • The University at Buffalo has two child care centers: one on the South Campus and one on the North Campus.
    • These Centers serve the needs of children ranging in age from 6 weeks to 5 years old.
    • The services are available to children of UB employees, faculty and students. A student discount is available and is based on family income.
    • The Child Care Centers offer services 5 days per week (Monday – Friday).
    • However, there is often a waiting period for admission to UB’s child care centers.

      Please visit the University at Buffalo Child Care Center website for detailed information about admission, rates, hours and their programs: /
  • Another on-campus educational option for young children is the Early Childhood Research Center (ECRC) on the North Campus. The ECRC is administered by the Department of Learning & Instruction of the University at Buffalo's Graduate School of Education.
    • The ECRC Preschool serves children ages 2 – 8 years old.
    • Enrollment in the ECRC is open to the community and to children of UB students and staff.
    • The ECRC has morning, afternoon and evening programs. Unlike Child Care Centers, the ECRC's educational services are offered in three hour classes.
    • Children are admitted on a first come, first serve basis.

      Please visit the ECRC website for more detailed information about enrollment, hours and their different programs:

Since I will be a student / scholar at UB, is my child guaranteed enrollment in one of the on-campus Child Care Centers or the ECRC?

Unfortunately, not. Enrollment at one of the on-campus centers is not guaranteed. There is often a waiting list for the on-campus child care centers, so you may have to find an alternative until a space opens up at one of the on-campus centers.

How much does the on-campus child care cost?

UB’s Child Care Centers (2010-2011 rates)
Infant: $229 per week
Toddler: $209 per week
Pre-school: $200 per week
ECRC (2010-2011 rates)

$300 per 3 hours per day/semester (e.g. tuition for a child who attends every Monday, Wednesday, Friday in the morning is $900/semester)

How can I find other child care options near my home or near the University at Buffalo?

To find other options for child care near the University at Buffalo, visit and search for “Child Care Amherst NY”. Your search will return a number of child care centers near UB.

Another option is the Child Care Resource Network. Their Referral Department can assist you in locating child care in your area. For more information visit their website:

What are some tips for choosing Child Care?

If your child will attend a pre-school, child care center or even a kindergarten program, the National Association for the Education of Young Children suggests that you look for signs that your child will be in a healthy child care center environment. Here are some recommended criteria to use in evaluating the centers for children between the ages of two and six.

Signs of a positive setting include:

  • The children spend most of their time playing and working with materials . . . not wandering aimlessly or sitting quietly for long periods of time.
  • The children have access to various activities: blocks, paints, picture books, table toys, puzzles and other materials.
  • The teachers work with the children individually as well as in a group.
  • The classroom is decorated with the children’s work.

What if my children are ages 5 & older?

  • All children between the ages 5-16 are required by law to attend school.
  • Public school education in the U.S. is free for all children age 5 and older.
  • There are also private or religious affiliated schools for which there is a tuition charge.
  • Typically, the school year is from early September to mid-June.

How can I enroll my child / children in public school?

Your child’s school will be determined by the district in which you will live. You should check with the school district in which you reside to find out how to enroll your dependent children.

What type of documents should I bring from home that will help when enrolling my child in school?

When you enroll your child in public school, you should bring the following documents with you:

  • Child’s health records (including dates of immunizations)
  • Child’s birth certificate
  • Child’s grade reports or leaving certificates (may be useful in securing appropriate placement in a school in the U.S.)

Are there any additional programs and services available for my school-age children?

Various community organizations coordinate “after-school” programs for school age children who require care beyond regular school day hours (approximately 7:30 – 3:00 p.m.). If your children will finish the school day before you return home, you might consider after-school programs for them. Generally, these services are available to your children, depending upon the school district in which you live.

Examples: The Town of Amherst Youth Board offers various services in support of children, youth, and families living in the Williamsville, Sweet Home & Amherst School Districts. The ECRC at UB offers enrichment programs two evenings per week from 4:00-7:00 p.m. during the academic year. This program is for children ages 4 to 8 years of age. Other possibilities include YMCA’s, church / faith groups, etc.