FAQs

PROSPECTIVE PARENTS

How soon can I put my child on the waiting list?

Hoya Kids applications can be turned in after the child is born. We will put your child’s name on our waiting list on the day we receive the completed application form and the $75 application fee (this fee is waived for those with a total household income less than $60,000 per year). Someone from our administrative team will send you an email confirming the date that you put your child on our waiting list.

We do not put children on the waiting list before they are born. You may, however, choose to fill out the parent information sections of the application form and leave the partially-completed form and a check for the application fee with us before your child is born. We then wait to hear from you after the baby is born: you call or email us the child’s information (name, date of birth, sex and anything else that was left blank prior to birth), and we process the application and deposit the fee on the day we receive the birth information.

How long is the waiting list?

Families should expect to be on the Hoya Kids waiting list for 18 to 24 months or more. However, since we are a small center (only 58 children) and have a high demand for enrollment, we do not have space for all the families who wish to enroll their child/ren at Hoya Kids. Families are advised to also apply to other programs or have alternate child care arrangements in the event that a space is not available when they need it, or at all.

What else can I do to ensure that my child gets in to Hoya Kids?

Please remember that we are a small center with a very high demand for enrollment: we do not have space for all the families who wish to enroll their child/ren at Hoya Kids. What we mean is that unfortunately, your child may not get in to Hoya Kids. We would someday like to expand, so we could come closer to meeting the demand for enrollment.

In order to ensure that you are offered a space when and if available, please keep your email addresses up-to-date and schedule a tour of the center by contacting our Office Manager or Assistant Director.

Please note that your family will not be offered enrollment until at least one parent has taken a tour of the Center. Tours are offered approximately twice per month on a variety of Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Tours are limited to three families at a time. Tours are generally for adults only; the exception is babies who are young and/or small enough to be "worn" in a Bjorn or wrap-type baby carrier. We recommend having both parents attend if at all possible.

If you are interested in an update about your child’s place on the waiting list, please email the Assistant Director no more than once per semester. We will not have any information about the number of spaces available in a given Enrollment Period until at least early June, after we have had time to process current families withdrawals (due on May 15 of each year).

How is your waiting list organized?

Hoya Kids organizes its waiting list in cohorts of children born between April 1 of one year and March 31 of the next (e.g., 4/1/12 through 3/31/13, 4/1/13 through 3/31/14). This is because each cohort of children will be age-eligible for the next classroom by September 30. Children who are ages 18 months through 29 months old on September 30 will be considered for the Busy Bees classroom. Likewise, all children who are ages 30 months through 41 months old on September 30 will be considered for the Buttercups classroom.

Within those cohorts, children are listed in order based on their enrollment priority:

  • siblings of currently-enrolled children are first;
  • children of GU affiliates are second—which is by far the largest group; and
  • children of Medstar employees are last

Within the above-listed enrollment priorities, children are ordered by date of application. Therefore your child’s place on the waiting list depends on his/her age cohort, enrollment priority and application date as well as those three factors of every other child on our waiting list.

When will my child get in to Hoya Kids?

We do not know and it is very difficult to predict. Hoya Kids is a small center (only 58 spaces) with a high demand for enrollment. Unfortunately, we do not have space for all the families who wish to enroll their children. Families are advised to apply to other programs or have alternate child care arrangements in the event that a space is not available when needed or at all.

Your family's chances of being offered a space for enrollment at Hoya Kids depends not only on your child's place on our waiting list and the number of spaces we have in each classroom. It also depends on the families ahead of you that may decline our offers of enrollment. We have no way of predicting this ahead of time, as it hinges on families’ personal circumstances at the time of the offer.

What happens if I leave GU?

If your child is on the waiting list and your eligible affiliation with Georgetown University ends (through graduation, resignation or termination), your child will be removed from the waiting list. Please contact us as you are leaving the University or shortly after you’ve left.

If your child is already enrolled at Hoya Kids and your eligible affiliation with Georgetown University ends (through graduation, resignation or termination), your child will be able to remain enrolled at Hoya Kids for three months following the end of the parent’s affiliation or until the end of the academic semester during which the parent’s affiliation ends, whichever is longer.

How far in advance will I be notified if a space is offered to my child? 

For summer and fall enrollment, we make offers of enrollment three weeks to three months ahead of the date the space is available (example: emailing a family on June 20 to offer a space with a start date between July 15 and September 30).

For enrollment in the "off-season" (between October 1 and May 31), we offer spaces with at least 3-4 weeks notice.

How much time will I have to make a decision about an offer of enrollment?

In general, you will have two to three business days to respond to an offer of enrollment. These offers are made via email. We send the enrollment offer to every email address listed on the family’s application form. If specifically requested, we can call a family if they are temporarily not reachable via email; families should contact the Office Manager to inform us of their contact preferences or to update email addresses as necessary. Please note that if you do not respond to the offer by the deadline given, we will consider you to have declined the offer.

Once you have accepted an offer of enrollment, you will have two weeks from the date of the offer to turn in your non-refundable $500 security deposit; the security deposit holds your child’s space and is applied to your first month’s tuition. In the event you decide not to enroll your child in the program after paying the security deposit, the deposit will be forfeited.

Can I delay my start date?

If your family is offered a specific start date but you would like your child to begin attending Hoya Kids later than that date, please request this from the Assistant Director or Director. If permission is granted, your family will be financially responsible for the space beginning on the date you were offered. For example, if your family is offered a start date of September 5 but you would like to delay your child’s actual start until September 26, your family will begin paying for the space as of September 5.

I will start my position at Georgetown University next year. When can I put my child onto the waiting list?

Hoya Kids allows parents who have accepted an eligible affiliation with Georgetown University (as faculty, staff, or student) to turn in the Hoya Kids application form and fee up to one year prior to appointment/start/enrollment date as long as it is accompanied by proof of appointment/start date. We accept a copy of the appointment/offer/acceptance letter or an email from the department chair/manager as proof of start date. Please contact the Assistant Director or Director to process these requests.

I am medical faculty. Can I put my child on the waiting list?

Yes. However, if you are medical faculty you will be given University priority only if you are a benefits-eligible employee paid by the University (and not paid by Medstar). If you are an employee who is paid by Medstar, your child is extended a secondary priority after children of Georgetown University students, staff and faculty. In reality, due to high demand by University affiliates, enrollment opportunities rarely arise for Medstar families.

Hoya Kids eligibility will be verified through Human Resources or the Provost’s office after an offer of enrollment is made and prior to the enrollment date.

Can I put my child on the waiting list as a part-time employee?

Yes, you can put your child on the waiting list if you are a part-time GU employee. However, children are eligible for enrollment at Hoya Kids Learning Center only if at least one parent meets our specific eligibility requirements, which does not include part time employment. We conduct a verification of each family’s eligibility through the Registrar's, Provost's, or Human Resources office prior to or just following a contingent offer of enrollment. If we offer a child enrollment and discover that neither parent meets our eligibility requirements, the child’s enrollment offer is rescinded and the family is considered to have declined the offer of enrollment for waiting list purposes.

My child will be 18 months old in January. What are my chances of getting in at that time?

Children who turn 18 months in January will not be considered for enrollment in Busy Bees until the following June.

In fact all children who turn 18 months between October 1 and May 31 will not be considered for enrollment until the following June 1. For example, a child born on July 1, 2013 will turn 18 months on January 1, 2015. However, that child’s cohort (children born between April 1, 2013 and March 31, 2014) will not be considered for enrollment in Busy Bees until June 1, 2015, even though some of those children will be two years old before being considered.

I don’t work in the summer. Can I take my child out of Hoya Kids for the summer and re-enroll him in the fall?

If you wish to have a space for your child the following fall, you must pay for your space over the summer.

Where do I park to drop off and pick up my child?

There are six 15-minute parking spaces on P Street for parents’ use at drop-off and pick-up. In addition, GU’s Office of Transportation Management allows us to open the gate to Lot 6 behind Poulton Hall between 4:30 and 6:00 pm for additional parking at pick-up time. Please note that the P Street spaces are monitored by DC’s Parking Enforcement and your car may be ticketed if it is parked in those spaces for more than 15 minutes, even if you are in Hoya Kids dropping off or picking up your child.

Does HKLC offer any summer-only programs?

No. We are a full-time, year-round program and do not offer any summer-only programs at this time.

Does HKLC offer any after-school programs?

No. We are only licensed for children ages 18 months through 5 years old.

Does HKLC offer part-time enrollment or part-time programs?

No. We are a full-time, year-round program and do not offer any part-time enrollment or programs at this time.

CURRENT PARENTS

How can I be involved in supporting HKLC and my child's experience there?

As your child’s “home away from home,” our Center will be a very special place both for you and your child. There are many opportunities for parents to participate in the Center’s programs. Your time and efforts are truly appreciated. When you demonstrate your support for the Center, it has very positive effects on your child’s attitude and feelings. There are many ways to support HKLC:

     1. attend a PAC meeting--contact the Center for meeting dates and times

     2. volunteer to help in your child's classroom--classroom enrichment projects, baking, storytelling, sharing talents, washing toys, minor toy repair, and many more. In addition, children always appreciate new voices reading books or new hands to hold on walks!

     3. communicate freely with your child's teachers--there are many events in the life of your family that may have a positive or negative effect on your child; we can respond and accommodate changes in your child’s behavior if we are kept informed about them.

     4. and much more! Speak to your child's teacher or to the Director if you have an idea to propose. We

When do Parent-Teacher Conferences occur? What are the goals and format of the conferences?

Parent-Teacher Conferences are held twice per year: Fall conferences are usually on the Friday before Thanksgiving; Spring conferences are usually on the Thursday before Good Friday.

There are four essential elements of our assessment process: written reports (FCFs), portfolios, conferences, and goals. 

The purpose of conferences is to allow parents and teachers dedicated and uninterrupted time to discuss each child’s progress at school.  We would like for parents and teachers to use conference time as an opportunity to share information mutually, and to set goals together as partners in each child’s early care and education experience. We also remind parents that child development is almost always uneven, there is a wide range of normal, every child has areas of strength and areas that need work, and children cannot be good at everything!

A few days prior to the meeting, teachers share with parents a strengths-based report called a Family Conference Form (FCF). We send completed FCFs home with parents two or three days prior to the scheduled conferences so that parents can read over them and the conference time can be better spent on discussion, goals, and portfolio-sharing.  The FCFs represent the teacher’s perspective on each child, his/her development, and her/his life at school.  More times than not, teachers will not see the exact same child that parents see at home.  We recognize and respect these differences.

The teaching team and the family then meet for 20-25 minutes to go over the FCF, discuss the child’s progress, strengths and areas for improvement, and to set joint goals.  At least one of these goals—if not all of them!—is based on the child’s strength/s.  These goals are used as a road map to the curriculum for the coming months along with the children’s individual and group interests.  

How often do I need to update my child's forms? Where can I find the appropriate forms?

DC licensing requires families to update many forms annually and will distribute these to parents to be updated as needed.  Some forms in fillable PDF format are available on our Forms and Other Information page, or from the Office Manager.

How much lead time will I have before my child transitions from one age group to the next?

We try to provide families as much lead time as possible; for transitions occurring during our Enrollment Period (June 1 to September 30 of each year), we try to begin informing families as soon as late May. At other times during the year, you will be emailed no less than two weeks before the transition starts.

It would be appropriate for you to start casually talking to your child about the move no more than two weeks ahead of the transition date. (Remember, “next week” is a time concept that young children have not yet fully acquired.) We also recommend that you talk to your child’s current teacher about other ways to prepare your child since each child adapts to change in their own way.

What is the actual transition process?

At least two weeks ahead of the transition date, one of the administrators will email you about the planned transition date. Shortly thereafter, one of your child’s new teachers will contact you to set up a transition meeting. In that meeting, you can share pertinent information about your child. You will learn about any new routines and have the opportunity to ask either teacher any questions you might have. Together you can discuss ways to make the transition easier for your child.

On the day before the transition, please drop your child off in the current (younger) classroom. After afternoon snack, one of your child’s current teachers will bring him/her to the new classroom with all personal items including his/her cubby box. Your child will be greeted by one of the new teachers; both teachers will assist your child in placing his/her things in the new cubby. Your child will be encouraged to stay in the new classroom for the rest of the day. Please plan to pick your child up in the new classroom that afternoon (but if s/he chooses to return to the old classroom, we will let you know).

Starting on the actual transition day and every morning after that, please drop your child off in his/her new classroom, even if it seems like it might be a difficult drop-off.  The teachers will be anticipating your child’s arrival and will be ready with open arms to facilitate a quick drop-off and smooth acclimation into the classroom. We will encourage him/her to stay in the new classroom all day. In case your child is still not comfortable staying all day, s/he may return to the younger classroom for short visits during the first two or three days, if s/he requests to do so.

In particular, nap time can sometimes be challenging for new Buttercups, so if your child returns to Busy Bees for nap, we will encourage him/her to return to Buttercups for the afternoon (snack and play time). Many new Buttercups find the larger playground to be exciting and attractive; afternoon play time can therefore be an easy time to restart the transition if needed. Your child’s old and new teachers will reinforce that it’s okay to return to Busy Bees for short visits but will encourage him/her to return to Buttercups as soon as possible.

Typically, we will allow your child to go back and forth between the two classrooms for two to three days before s/he is required to stay in the new classroom. This is because we will be enrolling a new child in his/her place in the old classroom. We generally allow three days for the Busy Bees-to-Buttercups transition and two days for the Buttercups-to-Koalas transition. The Buttercups to Koalas transition may start mid-week (on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursday) to ensure that the Buttercup space is available for another child the following Monday. This can be discussed in more detail at the transition meeting.

Transitions most often go smoothly but we are always prepared for challenges. You can support your child’s transition by remaining positive about the new classroom and matter-of-fact if your child wants to return to the younger classroom for a short visit.

My child will soon be 2½ years old. Will my child move to the Buttercups classroom as soon as he/she turns 2½?

Not necessarily. A child is age-eligible to transition to the Buttercups classroom at 2½ and will transition if there is an open spot ready for him or her to fill. If there is no spot available at that time, he or she will transition as soon as one opens up. If there are other children in the Busy Bees classroom older than your child, they will transition in age order as slots become available.

My child will soon be 3½ years old. Will my child move to the Koalas classroom as soon as he/she turns 3½?

Not necessarily. A child is age-eligible to transition to the Koala classroom at 3½ and will transition if there is an open spot ready for him or her to fill. If there is no spot available at that time, he or she will transition as soon as one opens up. If there are other children in the Buttercups classroom older than your child, they will transition in age order as slots become available.

Isn’t there also a developmental and/or emotional readiness that teachers and parents take into consideration when determining whether a child is ready to transition?

This is considered to a certain extent. If a child’s developmental delay is such that the child’s needs could not be met within the larger (or more active) group or with the higher child to teacher ratio, then, with parental input, we might decide to delay the transition. When there is a question of readiness, many factors are considered in making a tough decision like this, and each case is treated individually.

As long as children are within the range of typical development, we will transition children in age order. For example, if there are two children who are age eligible and both are typically developing, but the younger of the two happens to have stronger verbal skills, we will still transition the older one first.

How does the Center strive to meet the developmental need of the older children in each classroom?

Meeting the individual needs of each child is one of the highest priorities for Hoya Kids teachers in every classroom. Ensuring that activities are challenging and appropriate for each child is always considered. For example, during an playdough-making activity, a young toddler might be given a spoon to mix the ingredients, whereas the older toddler with more developed fine motor and cognitive skills might be able to help the teacher measure the ingredients. Most activities can be adapted to meet the needs of children of different developmental levels.

It is important to note that even if your child is 3½ or 4 years old and there are no available spaces in Koalas, your child can remain in Buttercups until a Koala space becomes available. Some children will spend two academic years in Buttercups; the Buttercups teachers—and all Hoya Kids teachers—work very hard to meet each child’s individual developmental needs, even if there is a wide age range of children in their classroom (see below).

In addition, having a chance to be among the oldest in the classroom can be a very positive experience for children. They have the opportunity to help younger children with things that they have already mastered; this fosters patience and emerging leadership skills and builds self-esteem that is extremely important during early childhood.

When mid-year spaces open up in the Buttercup room, are they ever filled by new children from the waiting list instead of children from the Busy Bees classroom? 

Typically, Buttercups spaces that open up throughout the year are filled by children from the Busy Bees room if those children are age-eligible and developmentally ready for the transition. If none of the Busy Bees are age-eligible for Buttercups, we would fill the empty slot with a child from the waiting list.

Does my child need to be potty trained in order to transition to the Koala room?

No. Although “toilet learning” is a milestone that children usually reach before they enter the Koala room, it is certainly not a prerequisite. As mentioned before, we strive to meet the individual needs of each child.

I have heard that a large group of Buttercups typically advances to the Koala classroom at the beginning of the academic year (when the older children leave for Kindergarten). How does the Center seek to ease the transition difficulties this may pose for children who remain in the Buttercups classroom, who see many of their friends leave at once and may feel that they have been left behind?

Teachers and staff are very sensitive to this possibility. Although many of their friends move on, many of them remain as well. The key to easing feelings of being left behind is to emphasize the positive aspects of staying with their younger friends. In addition, children develop close bonds with their current teachers that are beneficial as well. As mentioned before, these children will have the opportunity to be the “big kid” in the classroom and help the new children adjust and learn new things. The children are reminded that they will still enjoy time with their Koala friends on the playground and at other times that the groups are combined. One thing that parents can do to help prevent feelings of disappointment is to avoid talking about the possibility of transitioning until it is actually confirmed by a member of the Hoya Kids administrative team. If you keep in mind that the Buttercups age range is 2½ to 4, this will help you maintain realistic expectations.

When spaces open up in the Koala room, are they ever filled by new children from the waiting list instead of children from the Buttercups classroom? What is the Center’s policy on this?

As in the transition from Busy Bees to Buttercups, children are transitioned to Koalas in age order as soon as there is space available and as long as the child is 3½ years or older. In recent years (since approximately 2008), there have always been age-eligible Buttercups who are ready to transition to Koalas when spaces became available. Therefore, we have not enrolled a child from the waiting list into the Koalas classroom for many years. We expect this trend to continue but will revisit these practices as necessary.