Admissions Information

It gives us great pleasure to welcome new families into our community! We hope you find the following information helpful. Please contact us with any questions.

General Information



Our only criterion for admission is that the family is in agreement with our philosophy. We strive to maintain a true diversity of gender, ethnicity, nationality, race, ability, religion, and income within our Community.


We currently serve children 2 years old and older. Pono's preschool program is certificated by the New York City Department of Health. Our elementary and middle school programs are in the process of being registered with the New York State Education Department. We plan to grow with the oldest group and expand through high school.


Enrollment is available Monday through Friday for children in our 2s/3s program from 9am to 2pm, except on Wednesdays, when children attend from 9am to 3pm. Children in our 4s/5s program meet four days a week, Mondays–Thursdays, from 9am to 2pm, except on Wednesdays, when children attend from 9am to 3pm.

Older children attend Mondays from 9 am to 2 pm; Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 9 am to 3 pm; and Fridays from 10 am to 3 pm for a mentorship program.

Part-time enrollment for two or three days a week is also available.

After school hours until 4 pm are available.

Sliding Scale Tuition

Pono offers sliding scale tuition to eligible families and payment plan options to all families. Parents seeking tuition abatement through our sliding scale need to fill out an application with FACTS Grant & Aid Assessment to see if they qualify for sliding scale tuition. Sliding scale tuition is determined by FACTS and is not pay as you wish. Please note that FACTS bases their tuition decisions on families' tax and other financial information.

Full tuition for 2019–2020 is $28,600 for ages 5 and younger, and $30,000 for older children. Part time enrollment is prorated based on the number of days selected. A 10% siblings’ discount is offered.

Payment Plans

Pono offers three different plans for tuition payment: full tuition up front; 3 installments; and 12 installments.

Admissions Process


1. Attend an Information Session

Information sessions offer families the opportunity to hear about Ponos philosophy, principles, learning environment, and admissions process. New families meet our founder and director, teachers, and other families in our community. Meetings last approximately ninety minutes. Please visit the "Admissions" tab of our website ( to see when we will be hosting the next information session.

 2. Submit an Initial Admissions Application Form

This form can be submitted online (see form below). Upon receipt of this form, you will receive information about our sliding scale and details about upcoming meetings and deadlines. Please note that you may submit this form on our website before you attend an Information Session.

3. Sliding Scale Application

If you are seeking tuition abatement through our sliding scale, you will need to fill out an application with FACTS Grant & Aid Assessment. FACTS will charge a non-refundable fee of $30 per family. A FACTS Application will need to be submitted online and the necessary supporting documentation will need to be sent to FACTS. A couple of handouts about how to complete the FACTS application are in your Information Session folder. When you submit your application, please let us know so that we follow up on it. It takes FACTS a couple of weeks to process applications and issue their analysis reports. 

 4. Spend a Day at Pono

New parents are invited to spend a whole day (9am–2 pm) with their children at Pono after they have attended an Information Session and submitted an Initial Admissions Application form. Please contact us at to schedule a visit on a Tuesday or a Thursday. These visits allow new parents to experience Pono and meet the whole Pono community of children, parents, Pono teachers, visiting teachers, and interns. A hard copy of the full Admissions Application will be provided on that day and the tuition (after receipt of FACTS analysis report) will be discussed.

 5. Submit Complete Admissions Application

Complete the electronic version of the full Admissions Application and submit by email to

 6. Attend Admissions Meeting and Submit Down-Payment

When the above steps are completed, you will be asked to attend a meeting between 10 am and 4 pm. In Admissions Meetings we review the application and Pono's safety plan, and ask that you sign the tuition contract and submit the non-refundable down-payment of $1,000.

Pono does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identification in the administration of its policies, scholarship and loan programs, admissions and other center-administered programs.