Living in New York


Many UN Staff members are eligible for an education grant. To find out everything you need to know about eligibility and the details of this benefit, please visit:



For any general information you can visit the site of the Department of Education – Welcome Centers and New Students:



Below is information about a small selection of Manhattan-based private schools that are popular with UN families. NYLESA is not promoting or endorsing any of these schools in particular, simply highlighting a few that tend to be popular with UN families.

The United Nations International School (UNIS) gives admission priority to families affiliated to the UN and is an obvious choice for UN families relocating to New York. UNIS has students from kindergarten all the way through high school (Grade 12) and offers the International Baccalaureate (IB) in High School. About half of the students come from UN families. 
UNIS usually has a few spots reserved for students who relocate mid-term which is a huge benefit as admission to most New York private or charter schools can be very difficult mid-term. Please visit for more information.

The British International School of New York (BIS) is a private, independent school for children aged 3–14 years old. It is situated overlooking the East River at 25th Street in Manhattan. For more information, please visit

The Lycée Français de New York is one of the most renowned bilingual French schools in North America. The Lycée welcomes students from more than 50 nationalities. Please visit for more information.

The French-American School of New York (FASNY) is an international, private school serving more than 850 students in the greater New York City area. The academic program is taught in French and English. FASNY offers non-French speakers two entry points into its multicultural community: in pre-school (3 to 6 years old), where the double language immersion program brings children to bilingualism. Thie International Baccalaureate track is offered in the 11th grade. Please visit for more information.

Montessori Schools: you are interested in Montessori schools, you can locate a school near you through this page: org/School-Resources/Find-a-School.aspx


Charter schools are publicly funded and open to all students in New York State through a non-discriminatory admissions lottery. Each charter school is governed by a not-for-profit board of trustees which may include educators, community members, and leaders from the private sector. Charters have freedom to establish their own policies, design their own educational program, and manage their human and financial resources. Charter schools are accountable, through the terms of a five-year performance contract, for high student achievement.

Any child eligible for admission to a traditional public school is eligible for admission to a charter public school. Admission to a charter school cannot be limited on the basis of disability, race, creed, gender, national origin, religion, ancestry, intellectual ability, measures of achievement or aptitude, or athletic ability. If the number of applicants exceeds the number of available seats, a random selection process, such as a lottery, must be used. However, charter schools do give preferences to “at risk” students, siblings of students already enrolled in the charter school, and students living in the charter school’s school district of location.

If you are interested in applying for admission to any charter school, you must contact the charter school directly to inquire about its application /enrollment timeline and process. Please look up this charter school directory page for the most up-to-date information on the location of charter schools, contact information, and grade levels served.


On the website of the NYC Board of Education you can determine what school zone you belong to based on your address. In NYC, Elementary School comprises grades 1–5, Middle schools are 6–8 grades and High School is grades 9–12.


Support Group: UN Parents of Children with Special Needs

If you are a parent of a child with special needs, here is some information about a support group that you may be interested in joining.

The support group UN Parents of Children with Special Needs was created in 2007 after we founded World Autism Awareness Day, a day observed worldwide every 2 April, under GA Res. 62/139.  UN Parents of Children with Special Needs consists of more than 200 families worldwide (mostly NY-based) who communicate via email in bcc.  Our members are invited to attend OHRM briefings and workshops by attorneys and self-advocates that we organize specifically in accordance to families’ needs. Parents are also given the opportunity to meet each other and be paired with families with similar challenges. Although we are not an official group, we maintain close ties with the office of Human Resources, Medical Services, the UNICEF’s Office for Children with Disabilities and UN/DESA Office for People with Disabilities, to name a few.

To find out about our support group UN Parents of Children with Special Needs including autism, CP, visual impairments, learning differences (ADHD, dyslexia) and other disabilities, please contact Jacqueline Aidenbaum



The UN education grant does not cover any education costs for any child younger than five. NYC has recently introduced Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) public education for children starting at the age of 4, therefore paying a private daycare or hiring a nanny are the main two available options when looking for pre-school childcare.

The UN offers its own daycare, exclusive to its employees at 2 UN Plaza DC-2 (tel 212-963-4326). The United Nations Child Care Center (UNCCC), it is managed by Bright Horizons and accepts children from a few months old until they enter kindergarten. Its schedule is from 8.30am–6pm with extended hours during the General Assembly period.

Most parents prefer to place their children at a childcare center, as they are considered preparation for elementary school and therefore, finding a place is sometimes challenging. Timing is essential when it comes to looking for childcare, since the majority of daycare centers have a waiting list. In order to register your child or baby-to-be, in some instances you will be required to fill-out a registration form and pay a registration fee (usually between $50–$100 USD).

Below is a list of some daycare centers located in the UN area:

United Nations Child Care Center (UNCCC) (Bright Horizons
Preschool of America (25 Tudor City Plaza)
The International Preschools (330 E 45th St)
Vanderbilt YMCA Early Childhood Center (224 E 47th St)
Lyceum Kennedy (French International School) (225 E 43rd St)
Gold Material Montessori School (484 2nd Avenue, Kips Bay)
• Montessori Family School (323 E 47th St)

For other options, a combination of searching on the web and word of mouth may be the most effective approach, as well as exploring directly in your neighborhood.

Resources to help you find a daycare center:

A year before your child turns 4 you should start looking into the public offer of Universal Pre-Kindergarten (also called Pre-K), a very popular program since many positions are offered at private daycare centers at no cost for the parents. For further information please visit the NYC website.


An effective quest for a nanny would normally involve a combination of searching on 
the web, consulting the UN Bulletin Board on iSeek, as well as searching through nanny agencies, consulate social groups and word-of-mouth recommendations. Before hiring a nanny, consider the following: references, type of hiring contract (including contractual provisions on taxes, insurance and other benefits), salary, and also evaluate the opportunity of bringing a nanny from a previous duty station and the Au-Pair option. Don’t forget to make a copy of the ID of the nanny you are hiring.

Some resources on the Internet you can use to direct your search: