FAQs & Resources


Comprehensive information about child care at Harvard may be found at https://hr.harvard.edu/childcare.

Additional FAQ’s may be found at https://hr.harvard.edu/subject/campus-child-care.

If you have additional questions that have not been answered here, please email the CCC executive director execdirector@campus-cc.org or call (617) 945-1658 or reach out to the center director.


All of the CCC centers have the highest quality of care.  They vary in size, configuration of the space in terms of the number of classrooms, and physical plant.  Each center maximizes its space by establishing its age groups to ensure the appropriate flow through the center.  While the rules and regulations of child care are established by EEC (the state’s licensing authority), we have discretion about how children are grouped by age within the requirements for group size and number of teachers per group.   

There are many educational philosophies and approaches that are associated with high quality early education and care.  You may notice that some centers have a Reggio Emilia approach to curriculum while others may have a more eclectic programmatic approach.  All of our centers focus on a developmentally-appropriate approach to curriculum and all of our centers are deeply committed to family engagement.  Because each center serves the needs and preferences of its unique population, you may notice differences in center culture.


All of our programs are excellent.  That said, you may find that a particular center best fits the needs of your child and family.  This is a very personal decision for each family. When you visit the centers and/or speak with the center director, you may want to have a checklist that helps you ask about and observe what is most important to you so you can make an informed choice.



8 Story Street Suite B70
Cambridge, MA 02138

Mailing Address

Campus Child Care, Inc.
PO Box 380354
Cambridge, MA 02238-0354


Phone: (617) 945-1658
Fax: (617) 714-4711
Email: execdirector@campus-cc.org


M-F: 8am - 6pm
Weekends: Closed

Harvard Yard Child Care Center

How does CCC enrollment happen?

For your information, we have put together a typical timeline for our Campus Child Care enrollment process and addressed some frequently asked questions.


Currently enrolled children and siblings of currently enrolled children are offered priority for open spaces. Our centers hold open house style events each spring for families to have an opportunity to tour our centers, meet administration teams and teachers. These open houses are typically held in early or mid-March on a Saturday. Check with each center for exact dates.


We often receive questions about when parents will know if we can offer a spot. Starting April 1, we begin offering open spaces. If we can offer you a space, you will receive a call or an email about the offer and the pertinent details from a member of the CCC leadership team. Although we would love to provide a firm schedule for the whole enrollment cycle, there are many factors that go into the timing of offering spots.

Typical flow of events

Starting the week of April 1, spots are offered to ACCESS-eligible faculty. As soon as these spots are allocated, we proceed to the rest of tier 1, and then to tiers 2 and 3. Within each tier, applications are prioritized by application date. Because each family needs time to accept or decline an offer and then return a contract, this process generally moves in waves. Timing of an offer also may depend on the age of the child and the number of spaces open in a particular group. As a general rule, we expect the enrollment process to take about two months, but it can go well into the summer.

Of Note

The 2024-25 enrollment year is the first which will also involve enrolling four year olds through the City of Cambridge. CCC will do our best to coordinate timing and offers with Cambridge. This may result in a few four year olds hearing from CCC earlier than April to satisfy our obligations with the City. We will continue to adhere to the tier system of priority for enrollment offers set with Harvard. There is no typical date when we are “done” with enrollment. Historically we have some openings pop up right through Labor Day. Because of these conditions and because of the volume of applications we receive, we do not send out a letter to current applicants when a particular classroom is full.


If you have not heard from CCC by June it may mean that the classroom you are interested in is full or that we are still working our way through the waiting list. If you want to know more about your chances for enrollment in a specific center, please feel free to call that program directly or you can email CCC at execdirector@campus-cc.org.


How do I apply?

The online application is hosted by Harvard’s Office of Work/Life. You can access the application through any one of the centers’ websites. https://huccc-web.cadm.harvard.edu/

Applications fees are set per child.
For one to three programs the fee is $60.
For four to seven programs the fee is $120.

How do I pay the application fee? How will I know that my fee has been received?

Application fees can be paid for by check or wire transfer. CCC does not accept payment by Paypal or Zelle or any method of payment beyond check or wire transfer. To ensure your application fee is quickly processed, email the information regarding your wire payment to:finance@campus-cc.org. Please include the parents’ and child’s name. Once the application fee has been posted, you will receive an automated acknowledgement of receipt.

Application fees are per child and for the “life” of the application, no need to pay again in subsequent years.

Fee per application:

$60 for one to three programs.

$120 for four to seven programs.

Please indicate with your payment the child’s name and which program(s) you are applying to with BGCC, HYCCC, OSDC, PTCC, RCCC, SFPCC, WACC (or ALL) so that we can match your application fee to your family and allocate your application fee to the right program(s).

Your application fee is non-refundable.

The information for the CCC wire account is as follows:
ABA/routing number: 011300595

The wire transfer account number: 1538143903

Cambridge Trust Company
1336 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138

Campus Child Care, Inc.
PO Box 380354
Cambridge MA 02238-0354

If you pay by wire please include an additional $12 with your application fee total to cover the cost of the wire.

If you mail a check please mail it to the CCC PO box address above.

When should I apply?

You should apply as soon as you know you are going to come to Harvard and know you will need care.  Because the CCC centers are highly valued, there is typically a waiting list to enroll. The sooner you apply, the better the chances of being offered a spot.

Can I wait until I know where I am going to live?

Housing decisions generally come out after we begin to offer spaces.  If you decide to wait, you could be disadvantaged on the waiting list with a later date of application.

Should I apply to one or more centers?

We recommend applying to several centers.  While over 100 new families enroll each year across the CCC Centers, it is unpredictable where the openings will be for any particular aged child. Our retention rate is high, and currently enrolled children are given first priority in moving up from one classroom to the next.  Our openings are greatest in the infant room and preschool classrooms.

Where does my family have the best chance of getting in?

Unfortunately, we are not able to answer this question in advance.  Each center has some movement on an annual basis as children age out of the program or families move.  There is unpredictability in this process and in the number of open spaces expected at a particular age level in any given year.  Typically, spots are filled by the end of June, but some spaces may open up as late as September. We wish we could more accurately predict for your planning, but we do our best to give you an accurate overall picture of our waiting list.  

If I don’t get in to any of the programs, will my application fee be refunded?

No, application fees are not refunded.  You will be offered the option to remain on our waiting list from one year to the next at no extra charge.

How do I know where I am on the waiting list?

Your place on the waiting list is determined by your Tier (your relationship with Harvard) and your date of application.  The majority of our spaces are filled by Harvard-affiliated families designated Tier 1 and 2 families; a few spaces are filled by community and alumni families.

What are the Tiers? Who assigns a Tier? What if I think there is a mistake about my Tier assignment?

Tiers are assigned by the Harvard Office of Work/Life.  Campus Child Care cannot change your Tier. Information about Tiers can be found here.

If you have questions about your Tier assignment, you can contact the Office of Work/Life at worklife@harvard.edu.  Sometimes, it is helpful to provide an acceptance or offer letter to be certain your Tier is set correctly. 

How many children return each year? How many open spots are there each year?
The majority of children (total 400+) return annually since their families continue working and studying in the area. In a typical year, we enroll 150 new children. For new openings, siblings of existing families who have a continuing Harvard affiliation have first priority; ladder-access faculty have second priority; other Tier 1 families are considered next followed by Tier 2 families. Community members and alumni of the University (Tier 3) are then considered.
When do you start offering spaces?

We confirm re-enrollment with our existing families between January and March and begin offering spots to ladder-access faculty after the Spring open houses.  This process takes a few weeks. By mid-April, we begin offering openings to Tier 1 families on the waitlist.

Will you call me if I don’t get offered a spot?

Because enrollment in most classrooms remains fluid into the summer months, we do not typically inform families that they will not be offered a space.  Last-minute moves do occur, creating unexpected openings in August and September. You can contact Katy Donovan, our Executive Director to inquire about current openings at execdirector@campus-cc.org.

Can I visit the program?

Yes! We offer open houses in our centers through the Spring prior to the start of the enrollment “season”.  These are typically on Saturday mornings, hosted in most cases by current families and staff. Open houses are a terrific chance to see a program at your own pace, view multiple classrooms, and meet families who are currently enrolled.  We recommend attending several open houses as a way to get a feel for the similarities and differences between the CCC programs. You may want to visit again if a center is able to offer you a space. Check our online calendar for the dates and times.

How will I know which classroom my child will be enrolled in if we get offered a space?

All of our centers strictly meet or exceed the licensing requirements of the state licensing authority, Department of Early Education and Care (EEC).  They vary in size, configuration of the space in terms of the number of classrooms, and physical plant. Each center maximizes its space by establishing their age groups to ensure the appropriate flow through the center.  While the rules and regulations of child care are established by EEC, we have discretion about how children are grouped by age within the requirements for the group size and number of teachers per group. You can be assured that your child will receive developmentally-appropriate education and care, regardless of the classroom.

If I am offered a spot, what is next?

You will be asked to sign a 12-month contract and pay a $3,500 deposit to hold the spot.  If a second child is being enrolled, a second deposit of $2,500 is required.

Can I visit the my child’s classroom before I decide to enroll?

Of course!  We hope you can visit the center and the classroom your child will enroll in before you sign a contract with CCC.  Even if you have been able to attend one of our open houses, many families will ask to visit again before they sign the contract.  We will do our best to work with you to set a mutually convenient date. If you are not able to visit, we may be able to provide some contacts for references, parent to parent.  Ask your center director for the emails of a few currently-enrolled families if that would be helpful in finalizing a decision.

Why are contracts for 12 months?

Our contracts are designed for a 12-month period running from late August until early August the next year.  We find that children transition most successfully if they settle into their new classrooms before their parents start the new academic year.  All of our centers focus on teamwork and developing ongoing relationships with peers and teachers. For these reasons, children became part of a classroom cohort that remains together for the year and most transition together to the next classroom.

To hire and retain qualified staff, we offer them a full year of employment.  Campus Child Care (CCC) is a private, non-profit organization independent of Harvard University.  We depend on tuition income to hire and retain staff. We need the predictability of an annual budget to maintain the high quality of our programs and operations that you value.

If I don’t get a spot in one of the CCC centers, can you provide thoughts about programs off campus?

Cambridge and Allston are rich in early childhood resources, especially for children over age 3. There are family child care programs, group child care programs, nanny and babysitting resources across the city.  You can start a search here: https://www.mass.gov/early-childhood-services-and-resources-for-families to look for licensed providers in your zip code.  While CCC is not able to provide recommendations beyond our programs, we know many families who have found enriching programs outside of our centers.

What if my child needs something extra, like speech therapy or support from Early Intervention?
Early recognition and assessment of disabilities and developmental differences is
essential. Free developmental services, available through federally-funded programs such as
Early Intervention (EI), bring therapies directly to children during their school day.
Private therapies may be delivered on or off-site of the child care program and
there are services offered through public schools. We take seriously our obligation
to support parents as they advocate for their children and navigate systems of
care. We have extensive experience in Boston, Cambridge and many surrounding
towns to offer a parent during this process. We support services offered to children during the school day, collaborate with therapists who see children outside of school time, and coordinate information among a variety of service providers and caregivers.


Is there financial assistance available to help pay for child care?

Individual CCC programs are not able to offer financial assistance.

There are limited scholarships available through the City of Cambridge for low income families including some student families.

Benefits-eligible faculty, staff and postdocs may be eligible for one of several child care scholarship programs. Please go here for more information.  There is currently no child care funding available for Harvard students.

Why is tuition so expensive?
Our staff are well compensated for this field, as CCC will adhere to the standards set by the new Cambridge Preschool Program. This will require advancements in pay for qualified teachers towards their public school colleagues. At CCC we also prioritize providing a rich benefits package to support them and to retain them at CCC.
If my child will be away for a month’s vacation, do I still have to pay for that month?
Yes. Our operational expenses are the same whether or not your child is in attendance. We still have to pay the same number of teachers and other center expenses remain constant. In order to have high quality and stability in the center, we must meet our budget expectations.


Do you require immunizations?

Yes. Your child must be current on the immunization schedule or a “catch up” schedule. The state licensing authority does require immunizations for child care as well as schools. We have babies who are too young for immunizations so it is the obligation of the community to immunize to keep all of our children healthy and safe. You may provide a medical exemption. And it’s a great idea for all age-eligible children and adults to get a flu shot too!

Massachusetts Immunization Program: https://www.mass.gov/immunization-program

How do you accommodate for allergies?

We are extremely careful to avoid your child’s exposure to any of his or her allergens.  We post allergies in classrooms and we orient all staff about the proper procedures to keep your child safe.  Some of the centers have chosen to be nut-free. Please discuss your child’s specific needs with the center director.

Does CCC implement “green”, environmentally safe policies and practices?

CCC is engaged with the Green Campus initiatives through the Harvard University Office for Sustainability to develop clear and safe standards for the youngest members of the Harvard community.  The Office of Sustainability will assist CCC to research everything from Sharpie markers to diaper choices to be sure we can make easy, affordable, informed choices in our purchases for children on campus.  The Office of Sustainability is making campus-wide recommendations about cleaning products and will review our choices for those as well.  We have moved toward stainless silverware and cooking utensils rather than plastic and we are avoiding plastic toys whenever possible.  We are carefully selecting other environmentally safe classroom products such as carpeting and cloth materials.

How sick is too sick for school?

You should be prepared for the fact that your children may get sick more often when they are first exposed to other children in groups.  This is a natural pattern for all children as they develop resistance to germs after they are exposed. Each child’s immune system is different and some children may get sick much more often than others.  We are very careful in all our centers to practice state-of-the-art hygiene and standard health precautions to prevent the spread of illnesses. Each CCC center has a health consultant who advises the center about all policies.  Our parent handbook outlines our policy for excluding sick children. 

Even if your child does not have symptoms that would require exclusion, he or she should be able to keep up with the typical events of the day at the center.  If your child does not have the energy or stamina to participate fully in the program, it is best to stay home. For some children, a cold is a major event, while for others, it is not.  You know your child best to make an informed decision. We know how your child responds in a group setting so please speak with your child’s teachers to discuss what is best for him or her in that particular circumstance.

Do you offer nutritious snacks at the center?

Yes. ​We offer fruits, vegetables, simple grains, and dairy products. We do not offer meats or sugary snacks. Examples of a snack offering might be edamame and whole-wheat crackers, muffins made by the children with honeydew melon or broccoli with cheese sticks. We believe that a snack offered to a group of children should be appropriate for all children in the group. Therefore, if one person is allergic to sesame, then hummus would not be offered as a snack to anyone in that group. If another person is allergic to wheat, that group would find foods appropriate for everyone.

Do you have emergency protocols for emergencies, including those that would require lockdowns?
Yes. We have regular evacuation drills per licensing requirement. ​All staff in all the CCC programs are trained annually in CPR, first aid, and the use of an AED. Staff are encouraged to keep the mindset: “It is better to call for help and not need it than to have wished later that you called for help.” Annual group trainings include information about dealing with scenarios such as hazardous waste, chemical spills, familial situations such as domestic violence or custody issues, and emergency evacuation planning in the event of a bomb scare or natural gas leak or threatening weather event. We have trained our staff to be ready for real-life experiences such as advising all the programs to shelter in place during a recent shooting in Cambridge or refusing to release a child to an intoxicated parent.


Do parents participate in the decisions/operations of their center?
Yes. Each center has a Center Council whose role is to support the culture and community of that center by providing opportunities for engagement for families and staff. Each center also has a representative who serves on the Campus Child Care Board of Directors. The Center Council will consider and provide input on issues that affect the center such as annual program evaluation, hiring of the center director, changes to the program not dictated by regulatory or accreditation agencies, budget review, daily hours and annual calendar (in alignment with Harvard’s needs), and community-building family events. The number and formality of the Council meetings depends on the center’s desires. Most programs schedule 3-5 meetings during the school year in addition to a curriculum night at the beginning of the school year. The center director is responsible for organizing the meetings and, with the Board representative, setting the agenda. Oxford Street Daycare Cooperative has a more formal program that requires parents to participate in the life of the classroom.


Comprehensive information about child care at Harvard may be found at https://hr.harvard.edu/childcare.

Additional FAQ’s may be found at https://hr.harvard.edu/subject/campus-child-care.

If you have additional questions that have not been answered here, please email the CCC executive director execdirector@campus-cc.org or call 617-354-0450 or reach out to the center director.


What are terms of contract?
Contracts are for 12 months. In order to secure a space, a non-refundable deposit of $3,500 is required. The contract and enrollment are a financial agreement as well as an agreement to abide by the policies of the center which are outlined in the CCC and individual program parent handbook(s). The CCC parent handbook can be found here, your individual program handbook will be provided by the Center. A sample contract is available.
Where can I get my ACH form for direct withdrawal?
Where can I get an invoice for tuition?

Please contact Arlete Peterson, Accounting Manager at accounting@campus-cc.org.

If I have a question about my payments, who do I ask?

You may ask Arlete Peterson, Accounting Manager at accounting@campus-cc.org or Liz Keating, Financial Manager, at finance@campus-cc.org

How do I get a signature for my flexible spending account?

Please contact Liz Keating, Financial Manager, at finance@campus-cc.org


Comprehensive information about child care at Harvard may be found at https://hr.harvard.edu/childcare.

Additional FAQ’s may be found at https://hr.harvard.edu/subject/campus-child-care.

If you have additional questions that have not been answered here, please email the CCC executive director execdirector@campus-cc.org or call 617-945-1658 or reach out to the center director.

Harvard Yard Child Care Center

FAQ for Prospective CCC Employees

Are the centers the same in terms of programming?
While all the centers offer the highest quality of early education and care, there are differences in the size of the centers, configuration of the classrooms, and physical plant. Our centers differ in pedagogy and staffing patterns based on program-led decisions that have emerged over time. All of our centers focus on a developmentally-appropriate approach to curriculum and all of our centers are deeply committed to family engagement. Some centers have a particular focus on anti-bias curriculum. Because each center serves the needs and preferences of its unique population, you may notice differences in center culture.
Are salaries and paid time off the same at all the centers?

Each center is responsible for determining its staffing pattern and staffing levels. All teachers are paid based on their qualifications, experience at and prior to CCC and hours of work. While the days a center is open and closed may vary locally, every staff member has the same number of days off across CCC if you combine days their center is closed and flexible PTO.

Do all of the centers offer the same benefits?

Yes. CCC negotiates and manages staff benefits on behalf of centers to ensure the best group rates and features. CCC offers extremely competitive benefits, including 100% paid medical and dental insurance for its employees, as well as short term/long term disability and a life insurance policy.

For a complete list of benefits or to learn more about working with us, write to hr@campus-cc.org

Why do the centers staff classrooms differently?
Each center has the autonomy to determine its staffing needs based on the configuration of the classrooms, the needs and preferences of its population, and its approach. All classrooms in every center meet or exceed the licensing requirements for the number of staff and staff qualifications set by the State of Massachusetts.
How does each program develop curriculum?
All our programs believe children learn best through play and direct, hands-on experience. Our teachers provide environments designed to spark curiosity and support play; then they observe children closely to discover what captivates their students. Each team of teachers reflects upon their observations and plans curriculum that responds to children’s needs and interests, while introducing new skills and supporting age-appropriate problem solving. This well-planned curriculum may emerge and develop over days, weeks, or even years.

How the centers develop the learning environment depends on the age group enrolled and the interests of the actual children present. Our CCC administrators share a belief that the professional teaching staff in each classroom are best suited to make and implement curricular decisions for any particular group. Our curriculum is based in observations of children, not on a purchased, pre-packaged curriculum. Directors, parents, and colleagues are resources for curriculum development.

As a teacher, can I move from one center to another?
CCC works diligently to have stability in each center. Staff turnover is experienced as a deep loss for the children and families, and directly affects the balance on teaching teams, therefore, we do all that we can to support our staff to retain them. Staff do not move from center to center on a regular basis because of our firm belief in the continuity and stability of care for our children; rather, they are encouraged to find the right fit among our centers to develop their talents. All jobs are posted internally. If there is an opening at another program, and you choose to apply, your application would go into an internal pool of applicants who are considered first.
Do the Centers promote from within?
Yes, as appropriate. When there are center openings, internal candidates are considered first.
We encourage professional development at all levels of our organization and want to be sure that each employee has an individual professional development plan that includes access to increasing qualifications and responsibilities as desired.


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Get In Touch

Campus Child Care, Inc. (CCC) is an independent, non-profit corporation serving Harvard University and the surrounding communities. We provide the very best quality care and education for young children and their families.

Executive Director

Katy Donovan
(617) 945-1658

Physical Address

8 Story Street Suite B70
Cambridge, MA 02138

Mailing Address

Campus Child Care, Inc.
P.O. Box 380354
Cambridge, MA 02238-0354

Non-Discrimination Policy

CCC is committed to inclusivity of children and families. Beyond adhering to legal requirements, CCC strives to be culturally responsive and find ways to work across boundaries of race, color, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity to embrace and support our diverse families and workforce.