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Elizabeth Root
Child Development Center Director

Child Dev Center, Room Main Campus on a map

Child Development Center 4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington, DC 20016-8015 United States

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Eligibility and Admission Requirements

To be eligible for childcare at the Child Development Center, priority is given to families where one parent has a present affiliation with American University. The parent's primary affiliation to the university will be considered. All individuals are classified into one of six categories, listed below in descending priority. All members of the first category have priority over those in the second category, and so on. The affiliation must be in effect at the time of enrollment. If a space cannot be filled by categories I through IV, categories V and VI become effective.

Category I - AU Students/Siblings of currently enrolled Center students

  • Full-time undergraduates enrolled in degree programs (12 credit hour minimum)
  • Full-time graduates enrolled in degree programs (full-time status as declared by a particular teaching unit; usually a 9 credit hour minimum)
  • The Center promotes family togetherness. Therefore, siblings of currently enrolled Center students are given priority. If a child becomes eligible after their sibling has left the Center, they will be moved to the appropriate category, based on parent affiliation.

Category II - AU Faculty/Staff

  • Full-time staff (minimum of 28 hours of employment per week) or faculty status
  • Part-time staff (27 or fewer hours of employment per week) or adjunct faculty status

Category III - AU Alumni

  • Graduates of undergraduate and graduate programs

Category IV - Wesley Seminary Affiliates

  • Full-time faculty, staff, and students of Wesley Seminary

Category V - On-Campus Organizations Serving American University

  • Full-time employees of on-campus organizations (e.g., UPS, Aramark, etc.)

Category VI - Community

  • Members of the community surrounding American University


  • A child must be born before an application can be submitted.
  • To be considered for admission, a child must be 2 years and 6 months old.
  • Before reaching the required admission age, a child is placed on a waiting list. The priority on the waiting list is determined by the date on the application form.
  • To be valid, an application form must be accompanied by the current application fee. Please see our home page to view the current tuition rates, Parent Handbooks and other pertinent information.
  • Children are considered eligible when a space becomes available. If a space opens before the requested enrollment date, the child will be skipped; however, he/she will remain on the waiting list.
  • If a child is offered a space in the Center, but the parent chooses not to accept said space, the child's status may be deferred. The child's name will remain on the waiting list for the subsequent enrollment period according to the date the application was received.
  • If there is no space for a child during a given enrollment period, the parents will be informed and asked whether they would like to remain on the list for subsequent enrollment periods.
  • A child is accepted formally at the Center after a deposit equal to one month's tuition has been received OR a payroll deduction form has been submitted, all required enrollment forms (i.e., health certificate, emergency forms, developmental forms, etc.) are completed and returned, and the child has visited the Center.


Once a child is admitted, a confirmation letter is mailed out to the parents/guardians. Prior to the child's first day of attendance, the parents/guardians are required to complete and provide the following enrollment documentation:

Two children looking at a pumpkin

Gardening and cooking projects are a fun and integral part of the Center's curriculum.