Photo by Erik Jepsen, UC San Diego Publications.

Family-friendly Programs and Services

Click the headings below for brief summaries of UC San Diego's family-friendly programs and services and links to more detailed information.

Campus-Affiliated Camps, Arts, and Recreation Activities

Camps and Enrichment Programs:

UCSD sponsors a wide array of summer and year-round campus and enrichment programs for children and teens in a wide range of pursuits such as sailing, surfing, creative writing, academic advancement, animation, theatre, and more. Camps are planned for multiple age groups. 

In addition, there are many summer camp programs held at UCSD that are not necessarily sponsored by the University.  

Recreational Classes:

UC San Diego Recreation facilities host many activities enjoyed by families.  From personal training to classes for all ages, UC San Diego faculty, staff, and affiliates participate in many fitness and wellness activities.  Check out the schedule of courses for kids on the Youth page of the UC San Diego Recreation site and take a look at all the many facilities both on and near the campus.

For more information about off-campus nearby recreational facilities that offer classes (and popular city attractions for families in San Diego) visit the International Center Recreation webpage.

Arts and Local Entertainment

For great links to UC San Diego calendars for arts events and links to other entertainment venues in San Diego, visit the Partner Opportunities Program's Recreation, Arts, and Entertainment Information page.
For the primary UC San Diego website listing talks, events, and programs happening on campus, don't hesitate to visit the UC San Diego Events Calendar as well. 

Childcare Options and Resources

On-Campus or UC San Diego Affiliated Childcare Options:

Full-time child care is available on campus at the Early Childhood Education Center (ECEC) for children three months to six years old, with age-appropriate development programs. The center offers full-time enrollment only.  The ECEC also offers child care referrals to  local infant/toddler home-care programs, child care centers, and preschool programs. (There may be waiting lists for all age groups.) The center offers full-time enrollment only. Parents who meet income guidelines may be eligible for subsidized care, and an after-hours program is available.

Part-time child care is available on campus at the Mesa Child Development Center, which offers morning or afternoon sessions for preschool-age children of UCSD employees and students.

UCSD students provide child care through the UCSD Babysitting Resource Program. Parents can post a job and wait for a babysitter to contact them, or they can view babysitter profiles and contact sitters directly.

Off-Campus Options:

Bright Horizons Care Advantage is a web-based resource to help you find and select pre-screened care for children, adults — even pets. You select the caregiver that's right for you. Whether you need everyday care or back-up care, Bright Horizons Care Advantage provides a comprehensive childcare and eldercare solution to complement UC's work/life benefits and employee assistance program resources. You can register online at the UC-specific Bright Horizons Care Advantage site with your Employee ID number. NOTE: If your ID number is not working, ad zeros to the beginning until 9 digits are reached. There will be two programs available within this site: the main Sittercity pages and the eldercare planning support resource Years Ahead.

Sittercity is America’s largest website for connecting families with quality local in-home caregivers with nearly 2 million caregivers nationwide.  Your Sittercity benefit gives you online access to local caregivers with profiles that include background checks, references, parent reviews, pictures, and more.

The University of California offers this work/life balance resource to help current UC faculty and staff members find caregivers — especially on short notice — so that they can get to the office or classroom with minimal disruption. Check out this handy chart for all Bright Horizons offers.

External Programs:

Exceptional Family Resource Center: Offers support, resources, and referrals for parents of special-needs children.

San Diego City Schools Primetime Extended Day Program: Provides elementary and middle school students with academic support and enrichment activities on school sites during the hours when many parents are at work.

Lawrence Family Jewish Center Childcare Program: The Nierman Pre-School and Shalom Baby program is located near campus and offers day care, pre-school, and enrichment programs.

Other Resources for Parents:

Oversight committee: UCSD's Child Care Oversight Committee provides a focus for child care concerns within the campus community.

Resources for Student Parents: UCSD Health, Recreation and Wellbeing partners with the UCSD Grad Parents Network and the UCSD Undergrad Student Parents Network to support student academic achievement.

Resources for UCSD expectant parents: Find information about disability income, leaves of absence, dependent or health flexible spending accounts, and a workshop for parents-to-be.

ScholarShare: California's 529 College Savings Program: Start saving for your children's college now. 

Campus Lactation Accommodations

Recognizing the benefits of breastfeeding for both infants and mothers, and in compliance with state law, UCSD provides Lactation Accommodationsoffering nursing mothers space near their work areas where they can express breast milk in private. Such locations include offices, conference rooms, and other rooms that can be locked for privacy. See Lactation Facilities for a current list of available spaces and related information.

Confidential Counseling, Support Groups, and Resources (FSAP Program)

UC San Diego general campus faculty experiencing work-related, personal, or family difficulties can receive one-on-one counseling, referrals, and other services through the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP). All services are free and the content of any FSAP counseling session is completely undocumented and confidential. 

Visit the dedicated counselors for consultations and attend useful workshops and groups--or even listen to Wellness podcast offerings if you're on the go.

FSAP counselors can also be asked to do mediation of departmental/professional conflicts, small and large, and provide teambuilding workshops for department and unit retreats.

FSAP's no-cost, confidential services include brief, solution-focused therapy for individuals, couples, and families experiencing a range of emotional and behavioral concerns, caregiver/eldercare needs, work-life balance issues, and strain in relationships.

Faculty may also utilize the FSAP service for support around leadership challenges such as mediating discussions, conflict resolution, and personnel management. New faculty may appreciate learning about campus culture and having a supportive advocate for self-care and acculturation as they settle in.

Above and beyond FSAP services, FSAP staff are knowledgeable about local service providers and programs and can help to create customized referrals and ideas for integrated care whether the concern is personal, professional, or both.

FSAP is located in Torrey Pines Center South, Suite 406, across North Torrey Pines Road from the northwest end of campus. Shuttle service is available from the main campus. The FSAP offices are open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and early-morning appointments or appointments after 5 p.m. can be arranged with individual counselors.

Dependent Care Travel Grant Program

Through the Dependent Care Travel Grant program (DCTG), the IEVC provides $125,000 annually to help offset costs for eligible UC San Diego Academic Senate Faculty who incur dependent care expenses related to traveling to perform research or to attend regional, national, or international conferences or professional meetings.

DCTG funds may be used to offset dependent care expenses at an alternate location such as a hotel or conference site, or for dependent care at home while the faculty member is traveling.  

Eligible faculty members may receive one IEVC-funded dependent care travel grant per fiscal year, not exceeding $2500 total, subject to the availability of funding. Visit the Dependent Care Travel Grant page for guidelines and applications.

Eldercare Resources and Activities for Older Adults

Eldercare Resources:

With millions of adults caring for elderly parents or other dependent adults, eldercare is a significant issue for many in the workplace, and UCSD offers resources and support in this area.

Family accommodation policies that help provide leave time and accommodations for academic appointees with eldercare responsibilities:

Check out our family policies page to see campus programs meant to provide accomodations for eligible academic appointees engaged with eldercare.  Leaves with or without pay can be requested for caretaking, as well as modifications of duties, for eligible series.   Eligibility for various programs is contingent on series sick leave accrual, appointment type, and union representation.

Faculty and Staff Assistance Program – referrals and Eldercare Support Group

The Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) provides referrals to resources for the elderly, such as specialized medical care, transportation, and caretakers, and offers an eldercare support group for individuals responsible for the care and oversight of elderly persons.  There is no charge for FSAP services. For further information, call (858) 534-2387.

Senior Care

MARC (The Memory, Aging, and Resilience Clinic) at UC San Diego Health System provides comprehensive cognitive, emotional and physical health evaluation of older adults.This unique program draws on the expertise of UC San Diego physicians in numerous specialties to carefully assess the overall health of older adults – with particular focus on memory and thinking.After thorough examination, the Memory, Aging and Resilience team prepares an individual care plan to address the needs of each patient.

UC San Diego's Senior Health programs and facilities are state of the art.


Sittercity is America’s largest website for connecting families with quality local in-home caregivers with nearly 2 million caregivers nationwide.  Your Sittercity benefit via the Years Ahead program  gives you online access to local caregivers with profiles that include background checks, references, reviews, pictures, and more, including Elder care providers from companions to licensed RNs.

Links to External Programs and Services

The following are some of the resources available in the San Diego area. These organizations may be able to suggest additional resources.

Southern California eldercare resources

Imperial County

Los Angeles County

Orange County

Riverside County

San Bernardino County

Ventura County

Activities for Older Adults:

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UCSD is an educational and cultural organization for retirees, directed by its members under the administrative auspices of UCSD Extension. Its approximately 600 members annually elect a set of officers and a Council to establish policy, oversee the curriculum and activities, control its financial and budget affairs, and generally maintain the organization.

Membership is open to any individual 50 years of age and above who is retired or semi-retired. Members can attend classes according to their own schedule. The only requirement for participation in Osher Lifelong Learning Institute are life experience and a desire to learn.

The UCSD Retirement Association serves several purposes, including offering educational and entertainment programs and providing volunteer opportunities for retirees. Anyone can join, including individuals who are not affiliated with UCSD.

Members also receive a number of benefits, including a UCSD ID card, access to the library, discounts at the bookstore, discounts on La Jolla Symphony and Chorus and La Jolla Playhouse admissions, and invitations to a number of annual Retirement Association events, including the annual picnic, Day at the Races, holiday party, winery tours, classes and seminars, and more.

Members pay an annual or lifetime fee. For more information, read How to Join the UCSD Retirement Association.

Partner Opportunities Program

The Partner Opportunities Program (POP) provides assistance in the employment search for spouses and partners of General Campus ladder-rank faculty candidates and appointees and senior management appointees who hold academic appointments.

The POP Web page includes information on procedures for using the program, links to job listings, information on area companies and placement agencies, job search tips, and relocation resources helpful to newly recruited faculty and their families.

The program offers assistance to an eligible appointee's spouse or significant other conducting their own job searches by assessing their needs, arranging job contacts, and serving as a central resource for information regarding employment opportunities.For further information, contact Jennifer Park (, 858-822-5862).

Clients must be referred to POP by the departments in which their spouses or partners are candidates or appointees.

San Diego School Information and Performance Ratings

Southern California Resources and Referral Services for Parents

Other UC campuses

UC San Diego Employee Discounts

UC San Diego employees are eligible for many discounts to fun family activities and local attractions. See the Blink page on Employee Discounts for a variety of discounted goods and services for UC San Diego employees and visit the  UCSD Box Office for information about tickets to on campus events and entertainment, as well as links to purchase discounted tickets to large external attractions like Universal Studios Hollywood and San Diego Padres games.

Women's Center

The Women’s Center serves as a resource for the entire campus community while placing the experiences of diverse women at the center through the resources they provide, the programming and learning opportunities they facilitate, and the dynamic community space that they create. The Women's Center is a unit of Equity Diversity and Inclusion.  In addition, The Women's Center hosts a ucsdmoms listserve with valuable information for parents on campus.

Resources available:

  • Space to meet, learn, and grow
  • Educational programs to enrich the UC San Diego experience
  • Information and referrals
  • Volunteer and internship opportunities
  • Training and consultation
  • Leadership development opportunities
  • Comfortable living room to nap, study, and be inspired
  • Outdoor patio and balcony space
  • Community kitchen with fridge and microwaves
  • Library with books and magazines on gender, diversity, and family issues
  • Computer kiosks
  • Single occupancy gender-neutral restroom with a shower
  • Family-friendly space with baby changing stations
  • Private lactation room for nursing mothers