How do I get my child into the McCarthy Center?
Enrollment priority is given to low-income students enrolled at COD with 6 or more
When space permits, private pay families may also enroll. To start the enrollment
process, a parent or legal guardian must come to the Child Development Center office
and fill out an application to be placed on the wait list. All details on the application
and other documents in the child’s file concerning the family or the child enrolled
are strictly confidential. An appointment for an enrollment interview will be scheduled
with COD staff to determine eligibility and need. When you come to the Center, you
will have an opportunity to tour the school and see our program in action.
How much does it cost?
Most of our families qualify for subsidized care. Gross monthly income and family
size determine program eligibility and are used to calculate parent fees.
When are you open?
7:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday
7:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., Fridays
We are open when the College is open, which means there are child care services during
the intersession, study & exam weeks, and summer session.
Parents arrange child care hours based on their individual schedules and needs. Your
child can attend only on the certified days.
How do I know my child is safe?
Safety, both physical and emotional, is our #1 priority at the McCarthy Center. We
never leave children unsupervised, even when napping or toileting. Our materials and
equipment are carefully selected, with the understanding that young children put things
in their mouths. We work hard to protect children from illness by:
- doing a health check upon arrival,
- enforcing a policy that requires parents to keep sick children home
- requiring you pick up your child if s/he becomes ill during the day.
(We must know where you are, or be able to contact the person you have authorized
to pick up your child.)
We teach hand washing, and practice frequently during the day. All lead teachers are
trained in pediatric first aid, and are able to attend to minor injuries. We build
emotional safety through strong relationships, first teacher and child, then, helping
your child to make friends in the group.
We are very strict about allowing children to leave ONLY with the individuals you
have authorized. We keep our front door locked and open it only to those with appropriate
What do you feed the children?
We are very proud of our nutrition program. We feed our children minimally processed
food. This means most items are made “from scratch.” Whole grain flour, pastas and
cereal are used whenever possible. Meals always include a freshly prepared vegetable
or fruit. A “salad bar,” often with items from our own garden, is a frequent option.
Protein rich lean meats and/or beans are part of each lunch menu. All meals are served
family style. In keeping with guidelines set by the American Academy of Pediatrics,
we serve our babies whole milk, and our children over age 2, 1% milk. Menus are always
posted in the front office and in each classroom with copies available to families.
Do you teach the children anything?
If you think about learning, you’ll realize that you really learn when you are able
to do something and practice. Young children learn by being engaged with their world,
from building, experimenting, and expressing their ideas with a wide range of materials.
Our role is to create an environment that sparks your child’s curiosity and encourages
him/her to think, solve problems and learn about the world. We provide and organize
the materials (writing implements, lots of books, items to sort, blocks, magnifying
glasses, paint, clay etc. etc.) and facilitate learning. Social learning such as how
to ask for a toy, play with another child, solve a dispute, share a friend, etc. is
supported by patient teachers who help children develop these and other critical social
How are parents involved in the school?
They come to visit/volunteer during the school day, often helping with an activity
such as a walk, cooking project, outdoor play, a game etc. All parents are invited
to be a part of the Advisory Board. Families also have the opportunity to participate
in the Community Garden adjacent to our preschool playground. You and your child(ren)
can adopt a raised garden bed and grow vegetables for your own table. What a great
way to teach about science and good nutrition!