UCNS is open from September through June.  Our calendar follows closely, although not exactly, the Ithaca City and Lansing Central school district calendars. Children may enroll 5 days a week (Monday-Friday), 3 days a week (Monday-Wednesday-Friday), or 2 days a week (Tuesday-Thursday.)

 UCNS enrolls children who are 3 to 5 years old. The diversity of the greater Ithaca area is reflected in the UCNS community. Children come from all types of families and represent a variety of economic, racial, ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Our school also enrolls children with special needs. Our foremost goal is to support the children enrolled at UCNS along with their families.

There are some families who are eligible to apply for priority enrollment. They are:

  • families with returning students

  • siblings of current or former UCNS students

  • families who are affiliated with Cornell

Families affiliated with Cornell University are given priority enrollment as the school's land and building are owned by Cornell.

Want to learn more?

Families who are interested in learning more about UCNS are encouraged to schedule a Come and Play Day! During a Come and Play Day, children are invited to play during the school day, while their parents observe the classroom, tour the school, meet the teachers and learn more about the program at UCNS. To schedule a Come and Play Day or if you have other questions about enrollment and the program at UCNS, please email the Registrar at, call our school office at 607.266.9680, or fill out our online form here.


Ready to enroll?

Children must be at least 3 years old by December 1 in order to enroll at UCNS. Families must submit an application form, along with a copy of the child’s birth certificate or passport, and non-refundable $25 enrollment fee. While we accept applications anytime, enrollment for the fall begins in January and school visits begin in February. Families may either apply online or mail in the application form.

To apply for enrollment for your child, please submit an application, along with a $25 non-refundable application fee and a copy of the child's birth certificate/passport. Applicants may either fill out the online application or download a paper application to mail to UCNS.



Universal Pre-Kindergarten At UCNS

UCNS is a community-based Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) site through the Ithaca City school district. Students who are eligible for UPK receive additional screenings and assessments throughout the year and our teachers attend monthly trainings, which benefit all families. In order to be eligible for UPK, students must be 4 years old by December 1, enroll 5 days at UCNS, and live within the Ithaca City School District. UPK families may be eligible to receive a tuition discount.

2018 - 2019 Monthly Tuition

We feel strongly that all families should be able to afford to send their children to UCNS. Our tuition is calculated on a sliding scale based on your family's income and the number of days your child is enrolled. Tuition rates are reviewed annually by the UCNS Board.



$25,000 - $40,000

$40,001 - $55,000

$55,001 - $70,000

$70,001 - $85,000

$85,001 - $100,000

Over $100,000

2 Days/Wk (Tu-Th)








3 Days/Wk (M/W/F)








5 Days/Wk (M-F)