Living in Waco

Housing Information

The following information may be helpful to you in finding housing in Waco. Most J-1 faculty and scholars live in either university housing, an apartment arranged by the department or in privately owned apartments within walking distance of campus.

Please visit the Baylor University Off Campus Housing Guide for lots of useful housing information and resources.

Apartments/Locator Services

Depending on the apartment complex, you may be able to rent an apartment before you arrive in Waco.

If not, we suggest that you plan on living in a hotel for the first few days after your arrival, until you are able to find housing that suits your needs.

You may wish to contact one of the many local Apartment Locator and Property Management Firms. There is no fee for using an apartment locator service. Information on apartments is also available online from Bear Cribs or you may pick up a copy of The Lokator, found in most convenience and grocery stores.

Renting a House

You may want to consider renting a home if plan to stay in Waco over a year. Most home rentals require a year lease.

Public Schools

The public schools that your children will attend are determined by the location of your housing in Waco. Exceptions are based on individual circumstances. Note that immunization records are required to enroll children in Texas Public Schools. School transcripts are also helpful (though not required) for placement of children into appropriate grade levels. For details regarding which public school your child will attend, schedules, registration and classes, please contact:

Waco Independent School District
Public Information
G.L. Wiley School Building1030 East Live Oak
Waco, Texas 76703
Ph: (254) 755-9473
Fax: (254) 755-9658

Child Care

Baylor University offers childcare for children 2-5 through Piper Child Development Center. This is not a free service. There is often a long waiting list for placement, which is based on the date of application.

In the meantime, there are numerous qualified childcare facilities in the Waco area. In this section, we provide information to help you make your childcare decisions.

A licensed childcare facility must be a well-managed, accountable organization with adequate supervision that provides a safe and healthy environment and activities geared toward specific age groups.

Steps for Choosing Quality Child Care

Visit several different child care homes or centers. Think about your first impressions and take notes. Always visit a home or center more than once and stay as long as possible to get a good feel for what the care will be like for your child. After starting care, continue to visit from time to time and talk with the owner if you have any concerns. If you are not welcome to visit at any time, you may want to find a different provider.

What does the child care setting sound like? Are the children happy and involved? Do the caregivers'/teachers' voices sound cheerful and patient? If the facility is too quiet, it may mean there are not enough activities available. If it is too noisy, it may mean there is a lack of control.

Count the number of children and caregivers/teachers who care for them in each group. The fewer the number of children for each adult, the more attention your child will receive. Especially for babies and younger children, it is important to have a small child to staff ratio that meets or exceeds minimum standards.

Quality care providers and teachers should be happy to answer your questions about their child care background and experience. It is important for you to know that the adults who will care for your children have the knowledge and skills necessary to provide the attention they will need. Also, ask about any special training they have and whether the program is accredited.

Is your provider involved in efforts to improve the quality of child care in your community? How can you get involved?

To find out if there have been any valid complaints and/or other pertinent information about any of the programs you are considering, call the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services at (800)862-5252 or contact your local licensing office.

Information provided by GetChildCareNow.Com