Enrollment and Tuition

COVID-19 Update:

The Smithsonian Early Explorer Program remains closed and we are not currently accepting applications for the fall of 2021. To be placed on an interested participant list for the part-time program, please email seecinfo@si.edu.  Information about the full-time school and the full-time initial enrollment application.

Admissions Policy

Enrollment in the SEE program is based upon an annual random number drawing lottery process that includes consideration of factors such as parents’ place of employment and sibling status. Smithsonian employees and siblings of children previously enrolled in the program get priority for all open spaces at SEE. 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 and alumni families.

All applications should be returned to SEE along with the application fee of $50.  Application DOES NOT guarantee enrollment.

SEE 2019 – 2020 cohort is currently full.

2020 – 2021 Application


Please email seecinfo@si.edu with questions about the program.

SEE Priority Tiers

A Tier Smithsonian Employees/ Alum Families

B Tier SI Affiliates

C Tier Federal Employees

D Tier All other applicants

Admitted Families

Families chosen for the lottery are required to attend a Visitor’s Day, which is a slightly modified version of a typical SEE class. There is no additional charge for the Visitor’s Day. After attending Visitor Day’s, families will be contacted by the lead educator to confirm their interest in the program. Once confirmed, families will be expected to fill out forms, pay a deposit, and participate in a brief orientation to secure their space in the program.

2019 – 2020 Tuition 

  • $714/month
  • Smithsonian Employees and siblings that are concurrently enrolled receive a 20% discount.
  • 6-weeks notice prior to leaving the program entitles participants a return of their $714 deposit.
  • Deposits are applied to the final month of tuition.


Advanced tuition of one month is required for all children enrolling in the SEE program.  The advanced tuition must be received by the program manager to confirm enrollment and will be applied to the final tuition payment.  Advance tuition will be refunded when a child leaves SEE, assuming there are no outstanding debts, and if the program receives six-week written notice prior to the child’s withdrawal.  Written notice should be given to the program director.  The advance tuition is non-refundable in case of early (without 6 weeks notice) withdrawal from SEE.

Payment: The advance tuition can be made by check payable to the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center. Monthly tuition is made by direct debit; a payment schedule is provided to caregivers each school year.

Smithsonian and Sibling Rates: Families employed by the Smithsonian Institution as either SI Federal or SI Trust and those who have two children (in either SEE or SEEC) enrolled at the same time receive a 20% discount on the base tuition for the part-time SEE program, but not the full-time program. This does not apply to nanny shares.

Visitor Day

The SEE Visitor Day is a modified version of a SEE class that gives families the opportunity to meet each other experience first-hand the program’s schedule and pedagogy. We encourage families to have both guardians and caretakers participate in Visitor’s Day.


Appropriately aged students enrolled in SEE will receive priority for participation in SEE the following year.

Enrollment in SEEC (full-time program)

Involvement in SEE does not in any way impact future enrollment opportunities in SEEC’s full time program. SEE participants do not receive priority in the traditional school year lottery. If you are interested in SEEC’s full-time program, please contact Melody Passemante Powell at 202-633-2941.