What does it mean to be a non-profit organization?
A nonprofit organization or not-for- profit organization (NPO) is an organization that uses surplus
revenues to achieve its goals rather than distributing them as profits or dividends. Nonprofit is not
synonymous with free, nonprofits are permitted to generate surplus revenue, but they must be retained
by the organization for its self-preservation, expansion, or plans. NPOs have controlling members or
boards. Nonprofits also have paid staff including management, while others employ
unpaid volunteers and even executives who work with or without compensation.
Is Seahorse Institute a non-profit organization?
Seahorse Institute is a registered Bahamian non-profit. Currently Seahorse is seeking certification as a registered 501c3 in the US. Seahorse Institute has a voluntary Board of Directors who provides
governance and resources. Seahorse Institute receives no government funding and relies upon tuition
and donations from individuals, corporations, and foundations.
Does Seahorse Institute Accept Donations?
Seahorse Institute relies upon financial contributions from Individuals, Corporations and Foundations to support scholarships, specialized educational equipment and other costs associated with the clinical
treatment of the students. Based on need, Seahorse Institute also accepts donations of equipment and
technical expertise. To make a donation to support Seahorse Institute efforts you can click here for
online options or send a check to P.O. Box SS19407, Nassau, Bahamas. For more information please
contact us at 242-676- 6780. (In December 2012, a fire destroyed the building that housed Seahorse
Institute and much of the specialized equipment used to teach the children. We’re still working to recovery from this tragedy. Visit www.Savetheseahorseinstitute.org for more information)
Is the school only for children with Autism?
No specific diagnosis is required for enrollment at Seahorse Institute. We have students with a variety of developmental disabilities attending Seahorse Institute. The label of the diagnosis is far less important to us in comparison to meeting the individual needs of the child.
Is Seahorse Institute a residential facility?
No, Seahorse Institute only provides day programs.
Why does Seahorse Institute charge tuition?
Tuition is charged because each student has an individualized program provided in a one-to-one or two-
to-one environment. The majority of our operating budget goes directly towards our staff salaries and
related staffing costs. The actual cost to provide our intensive individualized programs exceeds the
amount of tuition.
Are there scholarships available?
Yes, Seahorse does provide scholarships. All scholarships are provided on a need basis and are only
available based on funding that has been privately raised.
Does a child need to be verbal to attend?
No, Seahorse Institute students have a range of communication abilities.
Do children interact with one another or other children their age?
Yes, social interaction is a goal in each of our programs. We aim to raise our students to a level where they can interact with each other as well as other children. Once per week our students are taken to St. Andrew’s school to interact with students there as part of our social skills initiative. Through this program our students are engaged by and encouraged to interact with kids different from them.
Are there speech-language, occupational or physical therapists on staff or available for consultation?
Yes, speech therapy and occupational therapy services are available to all of our students through The
Caribbean Center for Child Development. Staff at Seahorse Institute implement recommendations and
strategies of OT and SLT throughout the day.
What are school hours?
Seahorse Institute programs begin at 9:00am. The Hope program has 2 sessions per day, 9:00am –
12:00noon and 1:00pm – 4:00pm. The Let’s Talk and Spirit Programs are from 9:00am – 2:30pm.
Seahorse Institute is a year round school with a two week summer break at the end of August, one week
off for Christmas and one week off for Easter.
Is there a waiting list?
There is a small waiting list for attendance at Seahorse Institute. If you would like to be added to the waiting list, please send a completed application to us. Enrollment openings depend on availability in the classroom appropriate for the student.
What are the entry requirements for new students?
Students are assessed based on their needs, current functioning level, and spaces available at the school to meet their needs.
What are the levels of qualifications for your teachers?
Seahorse Institute recruits teachers with a Bachelors Degree, preferably in education and/or psychology. All teachers are trained in the curriculums being used in their classrooms as well as Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), Verbal Behavior (VB) and proven teaching techniques. There are also regularly scheduled in-house training sessions to ensure ongoing teacher development.
How many years does a child stay at Seahorse Institute?
That depends on the child; a child may be enrolled at Seahorse Institute for as long as they need to be
here, but some may be enrolled for one and others three years. We work to equip students with the
skills that will make them more successful in a more typical learning environment. Most students will
not have one-to- one instruction for their entire educational career. Our goal is to give students the
intensive individualized instruction that can heighten their ability to gain skills and become good
What is the relationship between Seahorse Institute and Caribbean Center for Child Development?
Seahorse Institute was established to meet the growing academic, clinical and social needs of children living with developmental delays and disabilities in the Bahamas. Seahorse was originally established as a division of the Caribbean Center for Child Development. As of 2012 both organizations operate as separate entities. Seahorse Institute has its own governing board and is a registered Bahamian nonprofit. Caribbean Center for Child Development is a for profit organization. Each organization runs separately, though Caribbean Center for Child Development does donate a percentage of their profits to Seahorse Institute. Also, Seahorse Institute shares clinical resources with Caribbean Center, such as psychiatrists, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, and behavior analysts.