Child Development & Education Banner


  1. How do I get my c​hild into the McCarthy Center?

    Enrollment priority is given to low-income students enrolled at COD with 6 or more units.
    When space permits, private pay families may also enroll. To start the enrollment process, a parent or legal guardian must come to the Child Development Center office and fill out an application to be placed on the wait list. All details on the application and other documents in the child’s file concerning the family or the child enrolled are strictly confidential. An appointment for an enrollment interview will be scheduled with COD staff to determine eligibility and need. When you come to the Center, you will have an opportunity to tour the school and see our program in action.
  2. How muc​h does it cost?

    Most of our families qualify for subsidized care. Gross monthly income and family size determine program eligibility and are used to calculate parent fees.
  3. When​ are you open?

    7:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday
    7:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., Fridays
    We are open when the College is open, which means there are child care services during the intersession, study & exam weeks, and summer session.
    Parents arrange child care hours based on their individual schedules and needs. Your child can attend only on the certified days.
  4. How d​o I know my child is safe?

    Safety, both physical and emotional, is our #1 priority at the McCarthy Center. We never leave children unsupervised, even when napping or toileting. Our materials and equipment are carefully selected, with the understanding that young children put things in their mouths. We work hard to protect children from illness by:
    - doing a health check upon arrival,
    - enforcing a policy that requires parents to keep sick children home
    - requiring you pick up your child if s/he becomes ill during the day.
    (We must know where you are, or be able to contact the person you have authorized to pick up your child.)
    We teach hand washing, and practice frequently during the day. All lead teachers are trained in pediatric first aid, and are able to attend to minor injuries. We build emotional safety through strong relationships, first teacher and child, then, helping your child to make friends in the group.
    We are very strict about allowing children to leave ONLY with the individuals you have authorized. We keep our front door locked and open it only to those with appropriate identification.
  5. What do yo​u feed the children?

    We are very proud of our nutrition program. We feed our children minimally processed food. This means most items are made “from scratch.” Whole grain flour, pastas and cereal are used whenever possible. Meals always include a freshly prepared vegetable or fruit. A “salad bar,” often with items from our own garden, is a frequent option. Protein rich lean meats and/or beans are part of each lunch menu. All meals are served family style. In keeping with guidelines set by the American Academy of Pediatrics, we serve our babies whole milk, and our children over age 2, 1% milk. Menus are always posted in the front office and in each classroom with copies available to families.
  6. Do you ​teach the children anything?

    If you think about learning, you’ll realize that you really learn when you are able to do something and practice. Young children learn by being engaged with their world, from building, experimenting, and expressing their ideas with a wide range of materials. Our role is to create an environment that sparks your child’s curiosity and encourages him/her to think, solve problems and learn about the world. We provide and organize the materials (writing implements, lots of books, items to sort, blocks, magnifying glasses, paint, clay etc. etc.) and facilitate learning. Social learning such as how to ask for a toy, play with another child, solve a dispute, share a friend, etc. is supported by patient teachers who help children develop these and other critical social skills.
  7. How are pa​rents involved in the school?

    They come to visit/volunteer during the school day, often helping with an activity such as a walk, cooking project, outdoor play, a game etc. All parents are invited to be a part of the Advisory Board. Families also have the opportunity to participate in the Community Garden adjacent to our preschool playground. You and your child(ren) can adopt a raised garden bed and grow vegetables for your own table. What a great way to teach about science and good nutrition!