Schools and child care
Elementary and secondary schools
Columbia is home to nationally-renowned public schools (which are free), as well as a several 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, so you should contact a school directly if you are interested in enrolling your child.
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 miles or more 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 who 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 test 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.
There are many child care providers in Columbia. In addition to searching online, you can use the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services’ Child Care Provider Search, which lists facilities that are licensed by the state. It is a good idea to schedule a tour of the facility before enrolling your child.
The MU Department of Human Development and Family Science operates the Child Development Lab, a full-day, year-round 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.
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 is part of the MU College of Education and provides parenting information and resources.