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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I tour the Center?

Yes, of course! We have tours that are held the last Wednesday of every month at 9:00 am. There is no need to register in advance.

Are you a daycare?

The term day care often assumes that low skill professionals are keeping children alive through the day. When, here at the Boise State Children’s Center, so much more is happening. Our educators thoughtfully and intentionally partner with families, design beautiful environments, provocations, and learning invitations, engage in deep conversations with children about their interests, and advocate for children’s rights in the first five years of life. 

The words we use matter and have an impact. How we talk about early care and education directly aligns with our expectations for how we believe children should be treated and the expectations we hold for the adults who engage with them. When we use respectful terms to talk about early childhood educators and their work, as a community, we are demonstrating a high level of respect for young children and the important learning and development that occurs in the first five year. 

At Boise State University we don’t have a daycare, we have early care and education. We do not have providers in our classrooms, we have early childhood educators. We are proud of this distinction and hope you are, too. 

Do you offer part-time care?

Our belief is that children really thrive when they have a reliable and stable routine. Knowing this, we are only enrolling children in full-time spots at the Children’s Center at this time. 

What are the Center hours?

The Center is open 5 days a week and from 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM year round. Access our calendar to view days we are closed for holidays and professional development.

What is the tuition?

Visit our Tuition Rates webpage to access current tuition rates.

What does the waitlist process look like?

Visit our Prospective Families webpage to place your child/children on our waiting list.  The provided webpage has the option to view our waitlist by age group. This document is updated monthly, and the last time that it was updated is indicated  in the spreadsheet’s name. If your child is offered a spot in our program, you will receive about a month’s notice from their start date at the Children’s Center. 

Can any family place themselves on the waitlist?

At this time, we are only serving the faculty, staff, and student families of Boise State University. If space allows, students, staff and faculty from University of Idaho will be offered spaces. 

How is it decided which child on the waitlist will be offered a spot?

Priority will be given to the staff members’ children at the Children’s Center. The next priority will be given to the siblings of those children who are already enrolled at the Center. After this, spots are offered through a lottery system. 

What age groups do you serve at the Children’s Center?

Our classrooms are organized by age as of September 1. In many of our local public schools children cannot enter kindergarten if they are not 5 on September 1 so it makes sense that we organize our enrollment that way, too.

We employ a “looping” model in our classrooms wherein children and teachers stay together for 3 years in the infant/toddler years (known as “the loop”) and 2 years in preschool. 

Loop 1

Children younger than 1 on September 1

Loop 2

Children aged 1 on September 1

Loop 3

Children aged 2 on September 1


Children ages 3-5 on September 1

*Children can begin in our program when they are 2 months old or up to date with their vaccinations.

What does an “average day” look like at the Children’s Center?

An “average day” typically adheres to the following schedule:

  • 7:30 a.m.* Greeting Time / Classroom Exploration 
  • 9:00 a.m. Snack 
  • 9:30 a.m. Morning Meetings
  • 10:00 a.m. Investigations/Explorations; Outdoor Play; Large Muscle Activities 
  • 12:15 p.m.Lunch 
  • 12:45 p.m.Rest/Quiet Activities 
  • 3:15 p.m. Snack 
  • 4:00 p.m.*Open Learning Centers, Outdoor Play 
  • 5:15 p.m. Closing Time 

What is your curriculum?

At the Boise State Children’s Center we believe in the early years play is enough

We are not an academic readiness or theme-based early care and education center. Instead, we follow a child centered inquiry, play-based learning approach to honor and nurture young children’s natural curiosity as the driving force and foundation for lifelong learning. Children in all classrooms use open ended materials and loose parts as the primary materials for learning, thinking and understanding. Our teachers create intentional environments, invitations, and activities grounded in children’s interests to support children’s explorations. Neuroscience and child development point to children’s curiosity, interests and developmental matters as the primary vehicles for their immediate, complex, comprehensive, and sustained learning and development.

In addition to our approach, our infant/toddler looping classrooms teachers also follow the principles of resources for infant educators (RIE). This means teachers show an immense amount of respect for infants and their autonomy. Children are given time and space to explore while teachers closely observe to ascertain children’s needs. Teachers provide consistent environments and routines, while involving children in the daily care routines.

If a child is an infant or young toddler, the curriculum is focused on expert nurturing for the child and supporting their developmental needs. We provide knowledgeable nurturing care in a safe and secure environment for the child to feel comfortable which supports a child to develop an attachment to their primary teacher. With those conditions established and supporting a child’s natural, individual daily patterns of eating, diapering, and napping, we provide a rich and various sensory experiences and opportunities for them to develop their exploratory skills and their body in their own way and in their own time. 

If a child is an older toddler, we provide a responsive, respectful and reciprocal approach to develop social skills as relationship opportunities emerge and to guide them in exploring a rich array of materials, processes, tools, and environments. As they demonstrate individual interests, we assist them in exploring those interests in-depth and in a variety of ways over extended periods of time, 

If a child is a preschooler, we facilitate them in pursuing their inclinations, interests, and inquisitiveness through a variety of media, processes, and environments, while supporting their individual learning style, temperament, developing group skills, and multiple intelligences. 

If a child is a kindergartener, they engage in project-based learning with literacy, math, arts, science, and humanities thoughtfully woven throughout the day. We continue to support their individual learning style, developing group skills and multiple intelligences.

Do you offer any transportation options and/or food programs?

We do not offer transportation at the Children’s Center, and at this time, we do not have an active food program. Currently, families are responsible for providing their child with a morning snack, lunch, and an afternoon snack. 

What credentials and licensing do your teachers and staff members have?

All of our staff members have undergone a background check and fingerprinting. They also all have their CPR/First Aid certification. Our teachers are professional early childhood educators many with degrees in early childhood education. Most of our staff have or are currently taking coursework in early childhood education at the University level.