Frequently Asked Questions

When must I keep my child at home due to illness?

How do you celebrate birthdays at UCDC?

Could I have a tour of the Center before my child is enrolled/put on the waiting list?

Are part time spaces available?

What is the tuition at UCDC?

Do you accept children of families that are not affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh?

Can I visit my child during program hours?

What is your discipline policy?

What is the ratio for children to teachers?

How long is your waiting list?

Is it easier to get in if I take a part time slot to start?

Is there a priority to your waiting list?

How many age groups do you have?

If I am offered a space for child care, but I do not accept the space at that time, do I go to the bottom of the waiting list?

If I am a student, but I do not take classes in the summer, do I lose my spot?

If I lose my affiliation with the University of Pittsburgh, do I have to leave the Center?

Do you provide meals for the children at UCDC?

When must I keep my child at home due to illness?       

Please see our complete illness policy here.

How do you celebrate birthdays at UCDC?          

We feel that every child is special and will celebrate each child on his or her birthday, unless that is not acceptable to the families’ religious faith or for other personal reasons.  The Center has a variety of nutritious and delicious birthday recipes to make with the infant, toddler, and preschool classrooms in the effort to celebrate each child’s special day and to enhance the curriculum.  We request that parents/guardians refrain from bringing food or other items from home in celebration of birthdays.  Parents/guardians and extended family are welcome and encouraged to come to the Center to participate in birthday celebrations, which are typically held during afternoon snack

Could I have a tour of the Center before my child is put on the waiting list/enrolled?        

Yes, you may contact Mary Beth McCulloch, our Director, at mbm12@pitt.edu to schedule a date and time for a personal tour. 

Are part time spaces available?

Yes, families may enroll their child for two full days per week or three full days per week.

What is the tuition at UCDC?     

The tuition at UCDC is a sliding fee schedule based on annual household income and the tuition increases annually.  You can contact Marlene Schenck, the Business Manager, at mds26@pitt.edu for tuition information.

Do you accept children of parents who are not affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh?         

 No, the University Child Development Center is only available to families who are affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh. 

Can I visit my child during program hours?          

Yes, the UCDC has an open-door policy and families are welcome to come and visit at any time during the programming day.  They are encouraged to join their child for lunch, visit to nurse their baby, or stop in whenever parent/guardian schedules allow.

How is behavior management addressed?  

Teachers will equitably use proactive discipline techniques, positive guidance, redirection, planning ahead to prevent problems, encouragement of appropriate behavior, consistent and clear rules, and involving children in problem solving to foster the child’s own ability to become self disciplined.  Teachers will guide children to develop self-control and orderly conduct in relationships with peers and adults.  Aggressive physical behavior towards staff or other children is unacceptable.  Teachers will intervene immediately when a child becomes physically aggressive to protect all of the children and encourage more acceptable behavior.  Teachers will use approaches that are consistent, clear, and understandable to the child. 

What is the ratio for children to teachers?           

 As a licensed facility, we adhere to the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare's ratios which are:

  • Infants - One teacher for every four children
  • Toddlers - One teacher for every five children
  • Preschoolers - One teacher for every ten children

In order to maintain the highest level of quality and meet NAEYC standards, each classroom has an additional teacher to support our individualized approach to programming.

How long is your waiting list?    

Our waiting list is approximately three years.

Is it easier to get in if I take part time to start?     

No, we have separate waiting lists for part time and full time care. If you are part time and interested in full time, you would need to be on the full time waiting list and you would not be offered full time until your name gets to the top of the full time list.

Is there a priority to your waiting list? 

Our waiting list only houses those affiliated with the University and is ordered on a first come, first serve basis.  The only priority we give is for siblings of children who are currently enrolled. 

How many age groups do you have? 

We have four infant classrooms (6 weeks to 18 months) with a group size of eight, four toddler classrooms (18 months – 3 years) with a group size of ten, two younger preschool classrooms (3 to 4 years of age) with a group size of sixteen and two older preschol classrooms (4 to 5 years of age) with a group size of eighteen. 

If I am offered a space for child care but do not take that space at that time, do I go to the bottom of the list?           

No, you remain at the same position on the waiting list and if another space becomes available at a later date, we will contact you again.

If I'm a student but don't take classes in the summer, do I lose my spot? 

No, you will be able to have continued care for your child throughout the summer months.

If I lose my affiliation with the University of Pittsburgh, do I have to leave the Center? 

Only University affiliated individuals can enroll their children at the Center. If your affiliation is terminated, families are granted three months to find alternate care and are required to pay a 10% tuition increase during this time period.

Do you provide meals for the children at UCDC?  

We serve breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snack. Some classroom opt to offer a mid-morning snack if the children need this additional meal. The menus, which are posted in the classrooms, are planned carefully to provide each child with a well-balanced selection of nutritious foods.  Whenever possible, the foods used will be fresh and prepared naturally, without added sugar, salt, preservatives, or food coloring.  We do not serve white bread or food that contains sugar other than in its natural form. Our menus and our curriculum will reflect the most current recommendations for healthy nutrition as prescribed by the USDA. We accommodate every child's individual nutritional needs and preferences.

The Center will make every effort to accommodate special circumstances including food allergies and religious/cultural dietary restrictions.  A vegan selection is offered at lunch and the Center is familiar with providing for children with wheat and other allergies.  We also ask that families do not bring food from home into the Center.