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Resources for families

Schools and child care

Elementary and secondary schools

Columbia is home to nationally-renowned public schools (which are free), as well as a number of private schools (which typically charge tuition). To enroll your child in Columbia Public Schools, you must complete an online enrollment process. What school your child will attend is determined by where you live, and the district has a school locator tool that allows you to see the attendance areas in which you live. Enrollment procedures, policies and tuition fees for private schools vary by school, so you should contact a school directly if you are interested in enrolling your child.

School buses

Columbia Public Schools provides bus transportation to and from school for all resident students in grades kindergarten through eight who live one mile or more from their school of attendance, and for all resident students in grades nine through 12 who live two or more miles from their school of attendance. If your child is not eligible for transportation based on where you live, you can request for them to ride the bus for a per-semester fee.

English Language Learners program

Columbia Public Schools has an English Language Learners program to provide support for students whose first language is not English. This support includes age-appropriate English language instruction (listening, speaking, reading and writing) and support for English language learners in all content areas. The ELL program is not offered at every Columbia school. If your child tests into the program, this map shows which school with ELL services your child will attend based on your address. Additional information about the program is available on the CPS website.

Child care

To search for child care providers in Columbia, two resources to consider are the Columbia Chamber of Commerce member search, which includes child care facilities that are members of the chamber, and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services' Show Me Child Care Provider Search, which lists child care facilities that are licensed by the state.

The MU Department of Human Development and Family Science operates the Child Development Lab, a full-day, full-year teacher-training lab school that offers child care and preschool programs for children ages six weeks to five years. Enrollment is limited, and prospective families must apply online.

Campus resources

The MU Women's Center provides resources for student parents, including a library with pregnancy and parenting sections, brochures and the family room, which offers a comfortable space for nursing/pumping, play area for children and study area for parents.

ParentLink provides parenting information and resources for student parents. One of these resources is the Cub Hub, a weeknight child-friendly play space for children and quiet, Wi-Fi equipped study spaces for student parents.