Nursery Schools

Voluntary Registration of Nonpublic Nursery Schools and Kindergartens

Fact Sheet


A voluntarily registered nonpublic nursery school and/or kindergarten is organized for the purpose of educating a group or groups of six or more children less than seven years of age,  under the supervision of qualified teachers providing an adequate program of learning activities and maintaining good standards of health and safety (Commissioner’s Regulations Part 125.1). 

Statutory Authority

Section 207 of Education Law (Legislative Powers of the Board of Regents – Decision Note #9) provides for “the broad delegation of power to state board of regents under this section, authorized promulgation of rule encompassing the institution of a noncompulsory registration program for private nursery schools and kindergartens.”  Jokinen v. Allen, 1958.” 

Section 210 of Education Law empowers the Board of Regents and the Commissioner of Education to adopt rules and regulations to carry out the laws of the state regarding education and the functions and duties conferred on the State Education Department.    

Regulatory Authority

Commissioner’s Regulations, Part 125, adopted by the Board of Regents on 11/20/70 and specific sections amended on 5/24/72, 7/1/80, and 2005. 

Additional Regulatory Impact

Commissioner's Regulations, Part 117, pertains to screening of new entrants to public schools.  For most students, this occurs in the spring of the Pre-Kindergarten or preschool program.  However, the deadline for administration of the screening is December 1st of the initial year of enrollment.

Registration Process 

The first step in the registration process is the submission of a complete application with all required documentation.  After approval of the application, an onsite visit is conducted to check indoor and outdoor facilities, review medical information for staff and students, observe implementation of the curriculum, and review all other relevant policies and procedures to ensure compliance with Commissioner’s Regulations.  A document providing guidelines for before, during and after the visits appears on the above website under Resources.

Registration Period and Reporting 

Registration shall be valid for a period of five years, subject to revocation for cause.  All registered schools are required to submit an Annual Report to the Department at the end of each school year.

Last Updated: May 20, 2009