Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What do I need to do to apply and when will I hear about my application? How early can I apply for admission?
A: You are welcome to apply for admission at any point for your child however, we do wait until the child is of the appropriate age for admission before communicating enrollment status. Enrollment generally is communicated the January before the start of the academic year in August.
Q: If we are not accepted into a program for this year, are we automatically put on the waitlist for the next year?
A: Yes – the waitlist automatically rolls forward and we continue to hold your spot until a seat becomes available for your child. We will reach out as soon as we are able to enroll your child.
Q: What number is my child on the waitlist? How long is the waitlist?
A: We are unable to give specific waitlist information as the waitlist changes day to day.
Q: What information do I need to apply?
A: To apply, we just need some basic information about your child (name, gender, date of birth) and a deposit for the waitlist.
To begin your application, use this link: ELRC Application
Q: Do I need to reapply every year?
A: No, since the waitlist rolls over every year you do not need to reapply!
Q: Are there virtual or in-person tours available?
A: Generally, in-person tours are available but during COVID-19, we are not able to accommodate in-person tours. Please check our website for online information sessions and tours.
Q: What is the difference between classroom programs?
A: The ELRC is the only lab school in the US to have three classroom programs: Montessori, Reggio-Emilia, and a universal pre-k program. Each classroom program focuses on engaging the whole child and are taught by licensed early childhood educators.
Students in the Montessori program are admitted at age three and continue in the same classroom three years. Students in the Reggio-Emilia program progress with their peers each year to a new classroom teacher.
The ELRC is proud to partner with First 8 Memphis to provide access to a tuition-free pre-kindergarten program for qualifying families. This classroom is for students aged 4 before the start of the academic year. For more information about First 8 or to apply, please use this link: First 8 Application Page
Q: How does my child get placed in a classroom? Can I pick my classroom teacher?
A: Families are able to request a specific classroom program but students are placed in classrooms based on available seats for each academic year. We do take sibling placement in consideration.
Q: Is there financial aid available?
A: We hope to serve all members of our community and are able to provide financial aid to those that qualify. Please contact the Executive Director, Brooke Willis, for more information.
Q: Do UofM Faculty, Staff, and Students receive enrollment priority?
A: The ELRC is a part of the University Schools at the University of Memphis so UofM faculty, staff and students are given priority enrollment.
Q: Do students from the ELRC receive priority to attend Kindergarten at Campus School?
A: Students matriculating from the ELRC to Campus School do receive priority enrollment status. However, parents must apply for their child to be enrolled for Kindergarten. More information about Campus School’s application and admission policies can be found here: Campus School Admissions
Q: How many students are in a classroom?
A: On average, there are about 20 students in each classroom. Each classroom also follows the age-appropriate teacher-student supervision ratio.
Q: What does the ‘Research’ mean in Early Learning & Research Center?
A: As a laboratory school at the University of Memphis, our school is able to conduct research projects in conjunction with University of Memphis faculty and staff. All research projects are conducted and vetted by the University and communicated to parents ahead of time.
Previous and on-going research projects span investigations into auditory and communication, music, and technology use of early childhood students.
Q: I still have more questions – where do I go from here?
A: We hope that you can join us for a virtual information session – please check our application page for dates.
You can also always call us at 901-678-2120.