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Ready to get started? Schedule a meeting with Bright Horizons to get a tour of our center. See our classrooms, ask questions about tuition, openings and our enrollment process. Find out how we’ll help your family thrive!
The Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (also referred to as the EEC) maintains state-wide standards and regulations as they relate to early childhood education and care, including teacher certification. All BHOTC classrooms are supervised by certified staff with years of teaching experience, and all BHOTC programs are taught by one or more certified teachers. The majority of our support staff are certified by the EEC or in the process of becoming certified. If you have a specific question about EEC certification, or EEC programming and regulations, please contact The Commissioner's Office at the EEC.
The average staff member at BHOTC offers 5 years experience working with children in a professional context. Their background reflects a diversity of experience that may include: nanny or au pair experience, private or public school teaching experience, early childhood program experience, and of course- many of our staff have their own children.
For job listings and to complete the application process, please visit www.brighthorizons.com/careers.
Bright Horizons curriculum, The World at Their Fingertips, is our unique curriculum designed to engage children in active learning that prepares them for school while helping them achieve their individual potential and fostering a spirit of community. It includes curriculum elements such as Language Works, Math Counts, Science Rocks, ArtSmart, Our World and Well Aware that cross all age groups. For more on information on our curriculum, click here.
Visiting the Center
If you are interested in visiting our center please contact us at (617) 336-4494.
Registration and Space Availability
If you are interested in registering with our center you will need to fill out the pre-registration forms and pay the annual registration fee. If we are at our capacity for the age group you are registering for, you will be put in a waiting pool. When the space becomes available you will be promptly notified.
Bright Horizons on the Charles Pre-Enrollment/Registration Form – If you are interested in enrolling your child into Bright Horizons on the Charles, please complete The PreEnrollment and Registration Form available here, and mail it along with your payment, to:
Bright Horizons on the Charles
400 Talcott Ave
Watertown, MA 02472
Once you have officially registered at our center (by submitting your Pre-Enrollment/Registration form and payment, as indicated above) and have been offered a space for your child, you will receive a Welcome Packet with the neccessary Enrollment paperwork and a Family Guide. All enrollment paperwork is due on or before your first day of care. You will also receive information regarding the security of the center and "how to" information on signing in and out.
Parents as Partners
We believe our long standing in the community has stemmed from the positive and nurturing relationships that we create with the families that we serve. Our open door policy, transparency and availability, and our family events and opportunities all invite parents and caregivers to participate in all aspects of the program.
Transition into the Center
We encourage the family and their child(ren) to transition the week before your official start date. What this means is, you can come in a couple of times the week before your official start day so you and your child(ren) can get acclimated to your home base, and get to know your teachers. You are more than welcome to stay with your child(ren) or you can leave them for a little while so they may become comfortable and familiar with your departure. We also recommend using this transition to bring in the items your child(ren) will need at the center. These items will differ depending on your child(ren)’s specific program, as well as your child(ren)’s specific needs. This will make your first day of drop off a little bit easier.
Transitions within the Center
We encourage your family and child(ren) to transition if and when you are ready. There are no hard and fast rules or specifics that will apply. What this means is, as a team, you, your child, and our staff will determine when your child is ready to move on to the next program level. Naturally, our staff will make appropriate recommendations and share with you their insights and opinions- however- just as each child is different and special, each child’s readiness for transition is also different and special. The procedure for transition within the Center is similar to as when they first begin at Bright Horizons on the Charles. We do recommend a ‘transition meeting’ with either the incoming (new) teacher/s and/or the exit (former) teacher/s. We will work with your child to ensure they have the healthiest, smoothest, and least stressful transition possible within our center.
The World at Home offers parents opportunities to extend their child's learning through brief activities that are voluntary, fun, and fit into the busy lives of families. The World at Home recognizes 3 fundamental assumptions:
Comprehensive, optimum development
of each child: mind, body, social self, and character.
Preparation for Success in Life
Preparation for Academic Excellence
A Rich and Rewarding Childhood
Bright Horizons on the Charles is located within The Arsenal On the Charles Office Park. Our address is: 400 Talcott Avenue, Watertown, Massachusetts 02472. Please visit The Arsenal On the Charles Office Park weblink above for a printable map.
For Those Who Drive:
Below are directions from Mass Pike East and Mass Pike West. Bright Horizons on the Charles offers convenient and free parking, located just in front of our main entry. If it's your first time visiting, you'll see a buzzer at the front door. Please buzz and someone will gladly let you in. Feel free to call ahead if this is more convienent. Once you are enrolled, we'll coordinate a keypad code for your usage.
For Those Who Take Public Transportation:
The nearest subway stations are Central Square and Harvard Square, both on the Red Line. Harvard Square station is fully handicapped accessible.
There is a free shuttle service which runs between The Arsenal on the Charles Office Park and Harvard Square. The shuttle runs three (3) times each hour beginning from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. There is a pick-up/drop-off stop located about 30 feet from the front of our school. Just let the driver know where you’re headed. If it's your first time visiting, you'll see a buzzer at the front door. Please buzz and someone will gladly let you in. Feel free to call ahead if this is more convienent. Once you are enrolled, we'll coordinate a keypad code for your usage.
From Mass Pike East
From Mass Pike West
Tuition varies by center, schedule and by individual classroom. To find out more information about tuition, please contact the center directly.
To find other locations, please visit www.brighthorizons.com/locator.
We encourage any family interested in center information, regular updates and invitations to the many events we are planning, to contact us.
Yes, Bright Horizons has an open door policy. You are encouraged to visit your child anytime.
For more information about this relationship, click here.
We suggest you register with Bright Horizons. You can select up to 3 locations to be registered at, including the center you are most interested in. By registering, you are confirming your strong interest in all 3 centers. We will add you to our wait list and you will be offered a space as soon as one becomes available. While waiting for a space to become available at your first choice location, many families will choose to enroll at their 2nd or 3rd choice temporarily until space becomes available at the center they are most interested in. In many centers, a child currently enrolled at a Bright Horizons location has priority over the general community so enrolling at another location will not only solve your care needs but will also give you additional priority in getting into your 1st preference. Our goal is to accommodate families as soon as space allows. During the entire process, we will keep in touch with you regarding your status.
Decisions by parents/caregivers to allow for their child(ren)’s pictures to be taken are at the discretion of the family. Some families allow pictures to be used strictly within the classroom (i.e. to label cubbies), some allow pictures to be used both internally and externally (i.e. for our center-wide website), and still others do not allow pictures of their children- no exceptions. In any case, we will respect your rights and your decision. To learn more about our policy, please see our Photography & Walking Permission Slip.
Bright Horizons conducts a comprehensive background check on all prospective employees and frequent visitors. The background check consists of a county criminal record check for the past seven years performed in all counties that a person has lived, worked or attended school. In addition to the county criminal search , a sex offender search, OFAC search and a social security verification trace are also conducted. For all location employees, program licensing background checks required by the state are also performed.
We aim to go outside twice daily for about 40-45 minutes. On "red" days, our groups do not go outside, but make use of our Gross Motor Room to exercise. On "yellow" days, groups use caution and can stay outside for 10-20 minutes depending on the weather. On "green" days, groups can go outside for their entire 40-45 minute period. The Gross Motor Room is a room designed for children to move freely, but safely, with structured choice activities such as an obstacle course or a “foam block” jungle gym.
We have a beautiful playground, which was completely renovated during the summer of 2009. Our playground serves both our Toddler and Preschool Programs, allowing siblings to play together. We have separate climbing structures for Toddlers and Preschoolers, a water trough for exploration, a play house, and two large play platforms. There is a separate but adjacent outdoor play space for Infants as well.
Our playground includes the Bright Horizons on the Charles Community Garden. We grow our own blueberries, basil, zucchini, and sunflowers.
We offer children choices, from building a choo-choo train out of large blocks for everyone to ride to the zoo, to riding a bike, to climbing, to water play, to a cool grassy place for contemplation.
Our campus is adjacent to a large wooded path, which provides the children the opportunity to safely view a variety of wildlife: squirrels, geese, rabbits, woodchucks, robins and even a hawk are all regularly sighted.
Our families also love to enjoy the large lawns which flank our playground, a space they will utilize during pick-up and drop-off, where children may enjoy a quick game of tag together before their car trips home. Some families have even been known to pack picnics for a quick snack al fresco.
In addition, our center is located within the same complex as the Arsenal Center for the Arts, and children are able to go on supervised walks with the teachers to observe up close and personal some amazing outdoor art installations.
BHOTC is also just a few minutes walk from the lovely Arsenal Park. Arsenal Park features a climber/swing area as well as a water play area. This makes a great change of pace for our Preschool children, and gives them something to look forward to on hot summer days.
All Bright Horizons staff are trained regularly in CPR, even if not required by the state. First Aid is taught as required by state licensing agency/regulations so that you can feel confident that your child is safe and receiving the best care possible at our center.
Yes, all employees, parents and children will have to pass a daily health screening. The health screening includes a temperature check and a series of COVID-19 related questions that pertain to the individual and their households.
The health and well-being of our families and staff are our highest priorities. In the interest of limiting the opportunity for transmission to our vulnerable community, we are taking the following precautionary measures:
Your household must remain out of the center if any member of your household has (or has been in close contact with anyone who has):
(a) A suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 (for example – close contact at school, work, religious service, social gathering); or
(b) Traveled: internationally; or domestically, from any area which is the subject of travel restrictions under applicable state and local guidance.
14 days after the last potential exposure, your household may return provided these three things have happened:
(a) At least 10 days have passed since any household member first experienced symptoms; and
(b) Symptoms have improved for any household member that experienced symptoms (for example, cough or shortness of breath has improved); and
(c) The household has been fever-free for at least 72 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicines.
Please note, depending on the circumstances we may require you to obtain medical clearance before return to the center will be allowed.
Where there are additional state or local requirements, for example around vaccination/masking, Bright Horizons also complies with applicable legal requirements in each jurisdiction in which we operate.
Bright Horizons is trusted by parents around the country – including many doctors and nurses on the frontlines of COVID-19 -- to care for their children. We’ve partnered with pediatric infectious disease specialist Dr. Kristin Moffitt of Boston Children’s Hospital to implement enhanced safety protocols for all areas including daily health screening, distancing, cleaning, and disinfecting. Our goal is to ensure that all of our health and safety practices in every center are in line with recommendations provided by the CDC and requirements of state and local municipalities, and have the well-being of children, families, and staff at their core. For more detailed information, visit: https://www.brighthorizons.com/health-safety
Where mandated by local state authorities children do wear face coverings or masks. In other locations Bright Horizons does not require the use of masks for children, however, at a parent’s discretion, children ages 2 older are permitted to wear face coverings while in our center. Teachers will work with these children to become comfortable putting on, wearing, and taking off their face coverings. For more information about our center’s policy, please contact us.
All employees will be in face coverings while working. Those conducting health screenings will wear gloves while conducting the screenings. Those undertaking disinfection activities will be wearing gloves while disinfecting. Teachers will wear gloves for activities that they wore gloves for in the past; diaper changing and bathroom help, wiping noses, first aid and cleaning. They also wear gloves for preparing and serving food. They will not be required to wear gloves all day.
Prospective parents are being encouraged to visit via a virtual meeting with the center director.
At all of our centers, rigorous health and safety practices are a foundation of the way we care for children.
During your search for the perfect child care partner, this is among the most important questions you can ask. For over 30 years, we’ve been a company that is guided by our HEART Principles and an unerring belief in putting children first.
At Bright Horizons, we know that childhood is a treasured time. We believe it is our responsibility to provide environments and experiences that capture the joys of childhood, nurture each child’s individual growth and development, and pave the way for success in school and life. We promise to:
Yes! Bright Horizons strives to and has successfully accommodated a wide range of special needs and individual differences in our group programs. We believe in inclusive programs that attempt to meet the needs of a wide range of children and which focus on each child’s strengths. We support a collaborative team approach – the teacher, director, specialists, and parents. The team will work closely together to try to maximize each child’s opportunities for learning, growth, and development, and to attempt to eliminate any barriers or safety issues which a group program may present.
The safety of the children in our care is our highest concern. Bright Horizons maintains stringent hiring practices and conducts criminal background checks on all teachers and caregivers in our centers. This check includes a criminal record search and a cross-reference check to determine prior convictions or other records of criminal activity that would call into question an employee’s’ suitability to care for children. Additional elements of our required background checks include verification through the Office of Foreign Asset Control and Sexual Offender Database Search. The frequency for updating criminal background checks for employees depends on state or other center-specific requirements.
Our research-based World at Their Fingertips® curriculum meets children where they are developmentally, with Signature Practices that build confidence and excitement about learning at every age and stage. In every classroom, our goal is to help children do more than learn; it’s to cultivate the joy of learning. And our emergent approach — teaching skills by leveraging a child’s own interests — enables teachers to tailor activities and projects for the specific talents and needs of each child in the class. Learn more about our specialized programs for babies, toddlers and preschool children, and how we prepare children for school and life beyond.
All Bright Horizons center staff are trained in CPR and first aid. Once an employee is hired, they are required to fulfill 16 hours of training through our new employee orientation. This training takes place over a two-day period, where the employee spends time observing each age group in the center. Teachers must successfully complete first aid and CPR training, in addition to local licensing and/or Department of Health requirements (e.g., food handler safety card.)
Absolutely! Named one of Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For 20 times, we are proud of the environment we create for our educators. We are always looking for great teachers, and offer competitive benefits and innovative programs. like our Horizons Teacher Degree program. For job listings and to complete the application process, please visit the Bright Horizons jobs and careers page at www.brighthorizons.com/careers .
We have many centers across the US, and each center reflects the unique personality of its leadership and community. To find the best fit for you and your family find a child care center near you.
We encourage any family interested in center information, regular updates and invitations to the many events we are planning, to contact us.
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has developed standards to define and recognize quality child care programs. In order to be accredited, a child care program must meet a variety of strict criteria, including having a well-trained faculty, good staff-child ratios and group sizes, and a comprehensive curriculum, as well as meet stringent health and safety standards. The program must also provide meaningful opportunities for family involvement.
Finding the right daycare and early education solution can be a lengthy process. Our best recommendation is to start early! Even if your preferred Bright Horizons center doesn’t currently have space available, we still recommend registration for your first choice center. At Bright Horizons, you can register at up to three locations. Once registered, we will add you to our wait list and you will be offered a space as soon as one is available. For many families on a wait list, Bright Horizons offers the ability to enroll at a nearby center on a temporary basis, or until your first choice center becomes available. If you’d like further advice on how to find the best preschool for your family, take a listen to our webinar on finding a quality preschool program.