Childcare & Public Schooling

Group of children getting off a school bus.

Child care centers, day care centers and pre-schools are strictly regulated in New York. While there are many day care centers near UB, admission will require planning ahead.

Most find it helpful to postpone the arrival of their dependents until after arrangements for housing and child care have been made.

Child Care

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.
  • New York 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?

Child Care Centers

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 five days per week (Mondays – Fridays).
  • 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.

Early Childhood Research Center (ECRC)

Another on-campus educational option for young children is the Early Childhood Research Center (ECRC) on UB's North Campus. The ECRC is administered by the Department of Learning & Instruction of UB'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 offers three-hour classes in the morning and afternoon. They also offer a full-day program.
  • 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 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?

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 UB, 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.

Children Ages 5 and 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. To determine your school district, enter your address in the National Center for Educational Statistics website. 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?

If your children will finish the school day before you return home, or need care before the school day begins, you might consider a “before or after-school program”. Various community organizations coordinate “before or after-school” programs for school age children who require care beyond regular school day hours (approximately 8:00–3:00 p.m.). These programs are often run by your school district. Some programs take place in the schools while others will require that your child be transported to another location for care. Your school district should be able to provide you with information on their before and after-school programs.

Examples: The Town of Amherst Youth Board offers various services in support of children, youth and families living in the Williamsville, Sweet Home and Amherst School Districts. Other possibilities include YMCA’s, church / faith groups, etc.