Schools and Child Care
Every child must attend school beginning in September of the calendar year in which he or she attains the age of 6 and must continue schooling until the age of 16.
Public education is free in the United States. Most children in Massachusetts go to public schools. The area of town in which you live determines the school your child will attend.
If you plan to bring your children with you while you study at Brandeis University, please be aware that to be eligible for public (no cost) education, your child must be five years old as of September 1 of the year that the child will be enrolled (for public kindergarten if available). If you child will be 5 years old by the start of the school year, you will be able to enroll your child in a public kindergarten. Kindergarten, which is part of the public elementary school system and accessible based on the city/town where you live, generally runs from 8:00am to 2:30pm with children having lunch in school. There are some school systems that have only half days (ending at 11:45) for kindergarten.
If your child will be of the age to attend the Waltham Public Schools, please go to www.walthampublicschools.org for more information. If you plan to live in another city or town local to Waltham, you will need to contact the public school administration offie for that city or town.
For information about a town’s school system, call the Massachusetts Department of Education Parent Information Center at (800) 297-0002.
District profiles are also available on the Massachusetts Department of Education Web site. All parents must provide the following for each child:
- Proof you live in that school district's jurisdiction
- A health record with proof of immunizations/vaccinations
- A birth certificate or passport
- An academic record with proof of school attendance, grades, etc. to help determine U.S. class placement
There are many excellent private schools in Greater Boston, though they tend to be expensive. If you are interested in pursuing a private education for your child(ren), we recommend scheduling an appointment with the principal of the school.
Most schools will arrange for your child to spend a day in the classroom “to test the atmosphere” before registering for the term.
Most child-care facilities in the United States can be expensive.
While there are after school programs in the public schools, any time that is not officially part of the school day will be at a cost to the parents.
Any child care that is available before a child is eligible for public kindergarten must be arranged by the parent. Child care for children younger than five is often oversubscribed and usually costly. Parents generally arrange for this child care in spring or summer for the next year, so waiting until you arrive in the U.S. in mid- or late-August to make child care arrangements will be very difficult.
The Lemberg Children’s Center (www.brandeis.edu/lemberg) on the Brandeis campus accepts children from 2 to 7 years old. There is often a waiting list for the 36 available spaces. The Lemberg Children's Center can be reached by phone at (781) 736-2200.
The Child Care Resource Center can provide information on centers and family providers (people who will look after your child in their home, together with a few other children) in the Waltham area. There is a nominal fee for this service.
The following websites will be helpful if you need childcare apart from the public school system in the Waltham area: