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Program Philosophy and Admissions


The Vanderbilt Child Care Centers are based on the child development model which incorporates the theories of Piaget, Montessori, Erikson, and others. Learning through play is viewed as the cornerstone of the curriculum. Adults provide protection, security, stimulation, support, limits, and affection. Children are respected as individuals within a child-oriented rather than teacher-directed program.

At the Vanderbilt Child Care Centers, children are given the opportunity to explore materials and participate in a variety of experiences. Activities are carefully planned and implemented in an open-classroom setting. Children are free to choose from age-appropriate activities including art, music, language development, pre-math skills, science and nature, and dramatic play. Children develop self-esteem, independence and problem-solving skills as they make choices and assist in planning the environment and the activities.

Our primary goal is for children to feel safe and secure. Prior to being independent a child must know that he or she can depend on adults and a predictable environment. Children are treated with respect and kindness. We recognize that children develop at different rates and have different interests. Small group size and appropriate teacher-child ratios allow for meeting the individual needs of each child.


The Vanderbilt Child Care Centers provide a quality child development program for the children of Vanderbilt full-time employees who are benefits-eligible and the children of degree-seeking students.

Children are placed on the waiting list according to date of application. Waiting list priority will be given to siblings of children enrolled at the Vanderbilt Child Care Centers. Openings are filled from the waiting list as soon as they become available. If the space to be filled is in the Toddler room, and there are no presently enrolled infants ready to move up, the next family on the waiting list (by date of application) who fits that age criteria will be notified. That family will either accept the place (start their child or pay the full tuition until they are ready for their child to start) or decline the place in which case the Center will go to the next child of the appropriate age on the waiting list. Due to these factors and the number of names on the waiting list, the VCCC cannot guarantee or predict a start-date at the time of application.

If a parent's full-time employment with Vanderbilt is terminated, the child is no longer eligible to attend the Center. Parents are required to give a month's notice (or monetary equivalent) when withdrawing their child. This practice allows the Center time to contact those on the waiting list.

To be placed on the waiting list, parents must have a projected due date confirmed by a doctor. A registration form must be completed and submitted to the Child Care Center Office. A $50.00 non-refundable registration fee is required. When the child is accepted for enrollment, the $50.00 registration fee will be applied to the $100.00 enrollment fee. Full time care is for up to 50 hours per week. If a child's attendance exceeds the contracted amount, there will be a $15.00 per hour charge assessed at the end of each month.

Prior to your child's enrollment both the parents and the child must schedule a time to visit and spend time in the classroom where your child will attend. This allows for a more secure transition into the program.