In 1921, Chautauqua Children's School pioneered the concept of nursery school education. Today, we continue to nurture the social, recreational and educational development of children. Each week offers a different theme in the Children's School curriculum. Guests or speakers often are included to share their special talents with the children.

How to Register

1. Register: A child is not enrolled until payment is received

Registration is now open online at or by calling the ticket office at 716-357-6250, then dialing 5 for an agent. The phones are open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST, Monday–Friday. 

Register Now

Registration must be completed at least two weeks prior to your session start date. Registration for one week of Children’s School costs $245 per child. Register for more than one week to take advantage of special multi-week discount pricing!

2021 Children's School Fees
Please note: 2021 Prices reflect increased operational costs for COVID-19 safety compliance.
Season $1,199
8 Weeks
7 Weeks
6 Weeks
5 Weeks
4 Weeks $675
3 Weeks
2 Weeks
1 Week

Youth and Family programs will operate in accordance with regulations set by New York State regarding the Covid-19 pandemic, CDC recommendations and Chautauqua Institution’s safety plans. Information regarding these procedures is available at the below link.

2021 Youth and Family Programs Covid Protocols


2. Complete the Children's School information forms

All youth information forms are collected electronically. Following your registration, you will receive an email with the necessary information to complete your child’s forms. Please make sure that your email is accurate at the time of registration to ensure that you receive this email.

Please note that Chautauqua Institution follows New York State laws regarding immunization requirements for youth programs. We will keep all registrants informed of these requirements, as they may change prior to the start of the 2021 summer season. If you are not willing or able to comply with the immunization requirements, your youth programs registration will be canceled and you will be issued a refund. 

2021 Session Dates

Week One: June 28–July 2

Week Two: July 5–9

Week Three: July 12–16

Week Four: July 19–23

Week Five: July 26–30

Week Six: August 2–6

Week Seven: August 9–13

Week Eight: August 16–20

Week Nine: August 23–27

About the program

About the Program

Children's School is a developmental preschool for youth ages 3 to 5. The program includes a wide range of social, recreational and educational activities. Weekly themes often incorporate other Chautauqua programs in the areas of music, drama and art. A relationship with the Chautauqua community and its unique opportunities continue.

The program hours are Monday–Friday 9 a.m.–noon. The school has 6 classrooms with a maximum of 15 students in each. A typical day at Children's School includes:

  • Developmental play
  • Circle time (reading, singing)
  • Activity centers (focusing on weekly theme)
  • Music
  • Special guest programs
  • Snack time
  • Outdoor play

The Children’s School team is working to plan for a 2021 season that closely resembles previous years. Some program elements, activities, and special events may be amended due to restrictions related to Covid-19.

Built in 1921, the Chautauqua Children's School pioneered the concept of nursery school education. Additions to the building made in 1926, 1947 and 1969 were followed by a full renovation and expansion in 1994 to its present size and capacity.