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Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center


Admissions Policy

Enrollment in the SEEC program is based upon an annual random number drawing lottery process that includes consideration of factors such as parents’ place of employment, child’s birth date, and sibling status. Smithsonian employees get priority for all open spaces at SEEC. Each March, enrollment is determined for the upcoming fall through the lottery process. If a vacancy occurs during the year, a child will be selected from the remaining applicants according to the same lottery results, but always giving priority to Smithsonian staff members.

All applications should be returned to SEEC along with the application fee (based on a sliding scale). The application fee is based on a sliding scale ($15 - $50). A nominal fee is charged to reapply each year. Application DOES NOT guarantee enrollment.

APPLICATIONS ARE DUE BY MARCH 1st each year to be included in the lottery, for all ages, including infants.

Download Initial Enrollment Application

Kindergarten Admissions: Applications for SEEC's Kindergarten will be accepted begining December 1 through the March 1 lottery deadline.

  • All applicants must submit a SEEC Kindergarten Registration Application between December 1, 2019 and March 1, 2020 to be eligible for enrollment.  A $75 application fee is required.  Applicants received after March 1st will be considered as space is available.
  • Offers for space in the Kindergarten will be extended following the lottery in March. Parent responses are due by March 15th.  A non-refundable deposit of $500 will be due by March 15th to guarantee a child's enrollment.  A second non-refundable deposit of $500 will be due by June 1st for all children except those currently enrolled in SEEC. Currently enrolled families at SEEC will have their current student deposit held to cover the second half of the deposit.  

For questions concerning enrollment, please contact Meredith McMahon at or 202.633.1399.

Download Kindergarten Enrollment Application

Open House Dates

Natural History - Kindergarten


Natural History - Kindergarten

Date Time
Tuesday, December 10, 2019 10:15 - 11:30 am  
Wednesday, January 15, 2020 3:30 - 5:30 pm  
Thursday, February 6, 2020  10:15 - 11:30 am



American History - Preschool

Date Time
Thursday, January 9, 2020 3:30 - 5:30 pm  



Natural History - Infants and Twos

Date Time
Tuesday, January 21, 2020 3:30 - 5:30 pm  



Natural History - Toddlers

Date Time
Wednesday, January 29, 2020  3:30 - 5:30 pm



Tuition and Fees

Tuition 2019 - 2020



Class Biweekly
Infants $960.91  
Toddlers $916.11  
Twos  $866.63
Threes  $822.04
Fours $808.60
Kindergarten $902.41
Kindergarten Camp $913.18

Non-Smithsonian Rates: Families not employed by the Smithsonian Institution as either SI Federal or SI Trust are required to pay an additional $2000 per child each year. The fee is pro-rated and added to weekly tuition, increasing the weekly rate by $40. Non-Smithsonian fees also apply to Kindergarten for all families.

Tuition is paid bi-weekly by direct debit; a payment schedule is provided to parents each school year.

Registration Fee

The registration fee is a nonrefundable fee of $100. This is a separate fee from the application fee.

Financial Aid

Recognizing that many families have financial limitations, SEEC established a financial aid program to assist families with identified need.

Financial Aid Policy:

It is the philosophy of the school that no child be denied admission because of a parent's inability to pay the entire tuition. To that end, a financial aid fund has been established to provide tuition assistance for children of families with a demonstrated financial need. In 2001, an endowment fund was created through an initial gift of $100,000 from the Smithsonian Institution and was designated to support families at Grade 8 and below. A second financial aid fund consists of annual donations from organizations, the Parents Association fundraising events, and gifts from other individuals. Earnings from SEEC’s Educational Outreach Program also provide support for financial assistance.

The Financial Aid policy is based on the following SEEC values:

  • We value providing financial aid to those families most in need at the highest levels possible.
  • We value supporting SEEC educators by providing them with reduced tuition for their children.
  • We value the support the Smithsonian provides in terms of space and support and in return want to support SI families.

With this in mind, the following policies guide the distribution of financial aid:

  1. Financial aid is awarded to SI and SEEC employees only. Non-SI families are not eligible to apply.
  2.  Financial aid is available only to families attending SEEC on a full time basis.
  3. SI/SEEC families applying for financial aid must have a total family income of less than $120,000/year.*
  4. Families must complete the required online Tuition Aid Data Service (TADS) forms by the stated deadline to determine level of need.
  5. Financial aid will be awarded by SEEC using a sliding percentage scale based on total need according to (or determined by) TADS. Higher percentages will be awarded to those families having the most need based on their TADS determinations.
  6. Any family needing emergency assistance in the case of a job loss or other significant change in circumstance may submit a written request for temporary financial aid to the Executive Director and will complete the required TADS paperwork. This application packet will be reviewed by the Executive Director with the Finance committee of the Board and a recommendation maybe made for awarding assistance. If the family situation were to change, they are required to inform the Executive Director and the aid would be reevaluated. *This amount will be reevaluated annually based on economic conditions and other factors. The current amount was based on the approximate salary of two working parents, each at a GS8, Level 10 salary.

All financial aid decisions are based on the family's need as determined by SEEC and the Tuition Aid Data Service (TADS), a financial assessment service. Parents are required to complete the financial aid application and submit this form to TADS, which will generate a need analysis report that is sent directly to SEEC. Parents must also submit a copy of the most recent federal income tax forms (1040) that were submitted to the IRS and all W-2s directly to TADS.

All parents are expected to contribute to the costs of the program at the highest possible level given their economic situation as reported to SEEC by TADS. SEEC uses the recommendation from TADS as a baseline for our own review and then awards a percentage of the need based on a combination of factors including SI employment, GS level and total overall need. 

Applying for financial aid does not guarantee an award. Applicants must submit a new application each year.

Please download the application worksheet to help you gather all necessary information prior to applying online.

To apply online, go to to begin your application: 

Financial Aid Application

Important Dates

March 1, Deadline for admission applications

May 1,  Financial Aid Applications Due

July TBD, New Parent Orientation

July TBD, Preschool Play Dates