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Childcare and Schools for Dependent Children

Leaving Children Alone or Unattended

It is illegal in the United States to leave small children or babies unattended in a home, hotel, or car by themselves. Leaving a child unattended can bring charges of negligence or “endangering the welfare of a child.”

If you must leave your child temporarily, arrange for someone else to care for them. An adult or responsible older child (usually 12 years or older) should be supervising the child’s activities. Please leave your children with an adult friend or neighbor if you need to go out without them.

If you are concerned about the welfare of a child or suspect the possibility of neglect or abuse, you may call the New York Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline at +1-800-342-3720 (24-hour toll-free number).

Childcare Options for Young Children

If your child is too young to enroll in primary school, consider daycare or nursery school. Such programs provide socialization and activities with adult supervision during the day.

There are a variety of services in this area, with different options and arrangements. Some may have more flexible schedules than others, or offer different class sizes, structure, or fees. Be sure to research your choices to find a childcare provider that suits your needs.

For more information, see our handout about interviewing daycare centers.

To find a qualified and licensed facility, use the New York State Office of Children and Family Services search tool.

  • Cost of Daycare

    You will pay more for daycare while your child is a baby and toddler stages, since children this age require more hands-on care and centers must hire more caregivers.

    According to data from the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA), daycare expenses for babies and toddlers in the US average $8,150 per year ($679 a month). Depending on where you live, this represents a range of $4,388 to $14,647 a year ($366 to $1,221 per month).

    Daycare for preschoolers is generally less expensive, averaging $6,423 a year ($535 a month), ranging $3,794 to $10,920 annually ($316 to $910 a month).

Public and Private Schools

In the United States, children between the ages of 5 and 16 are required to attend school. Most children remain enrolled through the age of 17 or 18, after completing 13 years of primary and secondary education.

Public Schools

Your children may attend public schools free of charge. To enroll your child in school, you need to show his or her:

  • Birth certificate
  • School records or transcripts
  • Documented proof of immunizations
  • Proof of residency (such as a recent utility bill addressed to your current residence)

The appropriate school is determined by where you live. For example, with regard to University housing:

  • Whipple Park residents attend Rush Henrietta School District
  • Goler House residents (or close proximity) attend Rochester City School District

Private Schools

Private schools offer a variety of options for children in the Rochester area. Choose from schools with special classes to fit your lifestyle and religious beliefs. Private schools often offer smaller class sizes with lower teacher-to-student ratios, so students can receive the one-on-one attention they may need.

Private schools, however, do charge for enrollment, whereas public schools are free.

Summer Camps

Many children in the United States attend camps and other organized activities during school breaks and over the summer months. Camps often specialize in different areas, such as sports, arts, or educational learning.

Search for summer day camps in our area.