The Little School at Duke, located at 1516 Hull Avenue, is managed by The Little School of Hillsborough. This center has a capacity for 170 children. The Little School at Duke is a five star rated child care center located on campus for the exclusive use of Duke faculty, staff and students. Duke faculty and staff must be in a benefits eligible position.

Enrolling Your Child

The Little School at Duke is currently accepting applications for the 2018-2019 program year. Limited part time options* are also available.

  • Apply Online ($35.00 deposit with PayPal required)
  • Printable Application (PDF) - Mail completed application and $35 non-refundable application fee (payable to The Little School at Duke) to: 1516 Hull Avenue, Durham, NC 27705

*Part time options at The Little School at Duke are Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday or Thursday/Friday.

Tuition Rates

Tuition Rates effective September 1, 2023

Age groupFull week3 day MTW2 day ThFr
One year old$1,768$1,291$902
Two year old$1,592$1,162$812

Who We Are

The Little School began as a dream in 2004 as Jennifer Adams (Founder) searched for quality care for her own children. Mary Swanson joined her in 2005 and the adventure began as the first Little School opened. TLS at Duke opened in 2012. Jennifer and Mary have a continued commitment to the highest quality early childhood experience for the children in their care.

Jennifer and Mary are the owners of the school and very good friends. This sense of friendship and community continues to define us as a school. We love what we do and it shows.

Principles That Drive Us

We respect each child's natural predisposition to enjoy the unexpected. We know that children are driven to engage in active exploration and investigation in order to make sense of their world. We are confident in their ability to construct their own meaning of their experiences.

We believe that it is our calling to fuel children's investigative impulses and to encourage discovery, promote questioning and challenging of ideas, and formulate connections of experience.

We know that the collaboration between the school, family, and community is essential in order to fully support the development of the child. We are committed to creating and supporting these relationships.

We are fueled by our conviction that learning is a joyful experience!

What Your Child Will Experience

He will see beautiful, creative spaces designed with children in mind, with furnishings reminiscent of a sweeter time with comfy chairs and beautiful rugs. He will see spaces for quiet, spaces for loud, natural spaces and spaces for exploration.

She will feel the textures of clay, paint, mud, and dirt. She will also feel safe, respected, confident, connected, curious, powerful, validated, unhurried, accepted, composed, and heard!

She will feel part of a community.

He will hear the sounds of laughter, Laughter, LAUGHTER, squeals of joy, reassuring voices, and excited discovery. He will hear birds and insects, rain on the roof, and trees rustling in the wind.

She will taste delicious, whole foods created by talented and passionate chefs. She will taste cinnamon granola with fresh fruit, ziti pasta with grape tomatoes, spinach pesto, citrus vanilla bread, crunchy cauliflower, vegetarian sloppy joes on brioche buns and cheddar cheese and crackers.

He will smell bread baking for morning snack, freshly cut herbs and vegetables gathered by the children for lunch, and the sweet smell of the fruit in our community basket for afternoon snack. He will also smell paint and clay, mulch and mud, grass and trees, and the soapy smell of a teacher's hug.

About The Little School at Duke

For more information or to experience the school firsthand, please visit us at

Location: 1516 Hull Avenue, Durham, NC 27705
Phone: 919-354-6600
Hours of Operation: Monday - Friday, 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Capacity: 170 children
Ages: 12 weeks - 6 years
Classrooms for each age level: Infants, Toddlers, Twos, Threes and Preschool

Curriculum Highlights and Enrichment Activities: TLS at Duke is a full day preschool and child development center offering a nurturing, exploratory, educational program. We are Reggio inspired and Conscious Discipline guided.

Our unique food program includes locally grown, organically raised products prepared by our on-site professionally trained chefs.

Playground: Natural outdoor play spaces including vegetable gardens, sand boxes, water play and mud cafes.

The Little School at Duke is managed by The Little School of Hillsborough.

For more information please contact