Thank you for your interest in the MU Child Development Laboratory (CDL). We have prepared the following information to explain our enrollment policy and procedures. If you have any questions after reading through this material, please feel free to contact us.
The CDL is able to provide care for seven infants, eight toddlers, and 60 preschoolers. However, we have many more families interested in enrolling their children than we have space available. Each family must fill out an enrollment application form for each child. The form may be submitted online. When the form has been received, the child will be placed on our waiting list.
The CDL follows the Columbia Public School schedule; therefore our big enrollment times are early June and late August. Occasionally, a space will open up during the middle of a semester when a family leaves the program. We have a large number of children on our waiting list. We encourage you to apply for enrollment, but appreciate your understanding that it may be difficult to get your child into one of our programs shortly after applying, if at all.
You may apply for enrollment for a child who has not yet been born or adopted. We will keep the application form in a separate file until we have been informed of the date of birth, at which point we will add it to the waiting list. When we receive an application form, we will mark it with the date the application was received, and then file it by the child’s date of birth. Please make sure to renew the form annually or as any address or phone number changes occur so that we have the most current contact information on file.
During the enrollment period, or when an opening becomes available, we will look at the existing class make-up and fill the opening(s) in a way that allows for a range of ages and a balance of boys and girls. At times we also strive to maximize diversity in terms of family income and/or structure, race and ethnicity, and special needs. Because the CDL’s primary purpose is teacher training, we use this enrollment system to ensure that the CDL is representative of the community at large, and that our students are exposed to a variety of children and families. Please note that siblings of children currently enrolled in a CDL program will have priority over other children on the waitlist.
When a space becomes available, and a child’s application is accepted, the CDL administrative staff will use the following procedures to contact a family about the opening:
- We will call the parent/guardian using the phone numbers and e-mails given on the application form, to offer the open space. The Family will have 24 hours to respond before we move to the next family
- Once a family indicates interest in accepting the invitation to enroll, we will give the family 24 hours to schedule a tour and to make a deposit to hold the space.
If you are offered and accept an opening for your child into one of the CDL programs, a start date will be decided upon, and you will be asked to pay a $250 deposit to hold the space. If you pay the deposit only to decide later not to accept the opening, you will forfeit the deposit. If you accept the opening, but cannot start your child by the suggested start date, you may pay tuition to hold the spot for up to four months; because we are a teacher training facility it is important to be fully enrolled and have children in regular attendance. If you decline an opening, you will not have priority for future openings.
The CDL has developed these enrollment policies and procedures, with the assistance of the Parent Advisory Council (PAC), in order to provide the students in our program with the opportunity to interact with a variety of children and their families. We welcome your questions if you need clarification on any of the information contained here.
Currently enrolled children will have to be re-enrolled every school year (typically in February). When filling spaces in our programs, the CDL will give first priority to currently enrolled children. These children may pass from program to program as space is available. Blue Door Room children may pass from the infant program to the toddler program as space is available. No guarantee can be given that these children will then be placed in the preschool program once they’ve reached the age limit of the toddler program.
Depending on the configuration of the children enrolled in the preschool programs, parents may have a choice as to which preschool program their child is placed in (Green Door Preschool, Yellow Door Preschool, or Red Door Preschool). However, no guarantee will be made that your child will be placed in the program of first choice.
Priority will be given to Blue Door toddlers for preschool enrollment and placement will be made as space is available.