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On-site Child Care Application for Stanford Health Care and Stanford Medicine Children's Health

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The WorkLife Office (WLO) manages the centralized wait list process for all campus child care centers, including the submission of applications and collection of application fees. The application fees are sent to the centers to support their operations and are non-refundable. 


Hospital affiliates are eligible to apply to the following child care centers at the Stanford Health Care/Stanford Medicine Children's Health tuition rate:

Stanford Arboretum Children's Center2 years - 5 years2 years - 5 years
Stock Farm Road Children's Center2 years - 5 years8 weeks - 5 years
Stanford West Children's Center2 years - 5 years2 years - 5 years
Pine Cone Children's Center8 weeks - 5 years8 weeks - 5 years

When to apply

You are encouraged to apply to the waiting list when you have a confirmed due date or confirmed adoption date, or as soon as you know when you will need child care. The earlier you apply before you need a space, the better your chance of being offered a space close to your desired start date. 

When you apply, the WLO will confirm your eligibility and send an email prompting the payment of application fees. Once payment has been successfully submitted, the WLO will add your  family to the waiting list. An email confirmation is sent at this time.

How you'll be notified

You will receive an offer to the email address provided at the time of application or waitlist update. You may update your email address at any time by contacting the WLO. Once an offer is made, we ask that families respond to the offer within 48-hours to indicate interest in the space. This response time is critical since families will have time to tour and engage with the child care program at the site prior to officially accepting the offer. If you are not ready to start care when you get an offer, you can push your start date into the future when offered a space. Families may do this. What this means is that the next eligible family will then be offered the space.

Stanford Health Care and Stanford Medicine Children's Health Tuition Rates and Application

Tuition rates are established in alignment with comparable, high-quality child care centers in the surrounding area. To establish these rates, Stanford and our operators strive to balance the tuition rates with the need to deliver the highest quality care possible, which is defined by the following factors:

  • Lower student to teacher ratios and smaller group sizes
  • Professional training, management and support for teachers 
  • Ample learning materials and resources for children and families

Rates are typically based on the four age groups below, and whether you will need full-time or part-time care.

  • Infants
  • Toddlers
  • Twos
  • Preschool

Monthly tuition rates are published on the WorkLife Office’s website. Rates are typically updated annually on September 1, to align with Stanford University’s fiscal year.

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Key Documents


If you have questions about waitlist applications and enrollment in any of the on-site childcare centers, please review our frequently asked questions. If you have a question that was not answered in the FAQ, please submit a help ticket to WorkLife Office.

Hospital Affiliates Child Care FAQ

How is my application affected if I am no longer affiliated with Stanford?

If neither parent is affiliated with Stanford, Stanford Health Care, or Stanford Medicine Children's Health your family is no longer eligible for care at Stanford’s child care centers and you will be inactivated from the waitlist. If your family is already enrolled in a center, you will be given 90 days notice to plan for an exit. 

Can children with diverse learning needs enroll?

Yes, Stanford’s early childhood programs serve children with various needs. Along with our operators, we believe in inclusive programs that meet the needs of a wide range of children and focus on each child's strengths. Our centers support a team approach; the teacher, director, specialists and parents work closely together to identify and meet every child’s needs through an individualized plan. There are times when a teacher needs additional training to meet a child’s need and our operators ensure teachers receive the additional training to help children and their needs. 

Can I apply to multiple child care sites at the same time?

Yes. You can apply to as many of the child care programs as you will become eligible for. Each of the on-site child care programs have a waiting list unique to their center. You can increase your chances of being offered a space by applying to multiple centers. You will need to follow the application process and pay all related application fees if you want to be on multiple application lists at the same time.

My child is an infant or toddler. Why am I not eligible at the center of my choice?

The university has prioritized infant and toddler spaces for university students, postdocs, staff and faculty on the Stanford campus. Stanford Health Care and Stanford Medicine Children's Health families have full access to spaces in all age groups at Pine Cone. Hospital residents have full access to spaces in all age groups and receive the same priority as postdocs at Stock Farm Road.

Once I apply for the waitlist, how long will I wait?

Your application is the first step in the process. We do not guarantee a space will become available at the time when you need it. 

Wait list times vary considerably with the age of your child. Typically, the infant/toddler waiting list is significantly longer than the lists for older children, because there are fewer spaces, lower ratios and a greater need in the community. Our preschool (three and four-year olds) programs are more immediately available. The waiting time will vary based on which age group your child is in, how many children are exiting the program in that age group, your desired schedule and your requested start date.

How can I find out my number on the waitlist?

Spaces are offered based on several factors including age of the child, parent’s affiliation with the university, schedule and requested start date. Being given a waitlist number does not work with our complex system. The Enrollment Coordinator will be able to provide the family with an approximation for whether an offer may be made in the upcoming months.

What information is used to determine the next most eligible family to make an offer to?

When a space becomes available, the Enrollment Coordinators at each child care site will look at the age group of the classroom where the space became available and the schedule they need to fill. 

The application will be examined to determine the family’s Stanford affiliation, the date of application received, if the child’s date of birth and desired schedule(s) are a match, and if the family’s requested start date is near the start of the open space.

When are decisions about offers made?

The WorkLife Office closely monitors the offer process for next eligible families for enrollment. When spaces become available, campus child care centers make an offer to the next eligible family on the waiting list. Spaces become available when:

  • Children transition into older age groups at the same site or into kindergarten

  • Families depart Stanford or the site

  • There is expansion, such as in the case of CCSC and PCCC

Most offers are made between June and September because there is usually more space available during these months. It is typical practice for our campus child care centers to transition children into older age groups during these months. Children also exit to start kindergarten during this time period. 

If you get an offer during the months of June - September, carefully consider taking the space. If you decide to postpone the space and your start date, you will be placed back on the waitlist and will be contacted at a future time. Please note, you may not get another offer for the exact time period you are seeking.