Career & Professional Development

Resources for Graduate Student Parents

Success in graduate school is more than just reading, writing, and researching. For student parents, it is crucial to find adequate support and resources for your family in order to thrive as a scholar. Whether you already have children or are planning to start a family while in grad school, UCSB has resources, support, and benefits to help you succeed.

Click on a link below to jump to a particular section:

HOUSING  |  CHILDCARE RESOURCES  |  FINANCIAL SUPPORT

PARENTING ACCOMMODATIONS  |  SOCIAL SUPPORT

OTHER RESOURCES  |  MORE INFORMATION & STAFF CONTACTS


HOUSING

storke-gallery12Family Student Housing

UCSB offers two family housing complexes for graduate students, featuring 1- and 2-bedroom apartments located about a mile from the center of campus. Priority is given to families with children, and it is recommended that interested students apply for the waitlist as soon as possible – even prior to admittance – to ensure their spot in these popular residences. Find out more about the Stroke Family Housing complex and the West Campus Family Housing complex.

Community Housing Office

The Community Housing Office is a one-stop resource for off-campus rental housing information and dispute resolution. They keep up-to-date rental listings and provide information on cost of living, neighborhood profiles, and FAQs.


CHILDCARE RESOURCES

UCSB-QT4A0226Children's Center

Our campus supports two Children's Centers – one located in the Student Resource Building and one located in West Campus – that provide childcare for student, staff, faculty, and community families. They offers tiered tuition rates as well as grants and scholarships for families with financial need. The Children's Center is heavily utilized by our community, ​and it can often take a year or more for graduate students to secure a spot for their children, especially infants. We recommend getting on the waitlist early (e.g. as soon as you have a due date for childbirth or a placement date for adoption) and maintaining frequent contact with the appropriate enrollment coordinator to receive updates.

Children's Resource & Referral Program of Santa Barbara County

This local non-profit offers childcare search databases, tips for finding appropriate childcare options, and referral services.

Santa Barbara Preschool Directory (2013-14 version)

A free publication produced by the Santa Barbara Parents of Multiples club, this list provides an extensive listing of preschool and childcare options in Santa Barbara with information ​on tuition rates, ​minimum age requirements, teaching ratios, and contact ​information.


FINANCIAL SUPPORT

UCSB-QT4A0208Childcare Reimbursement Program

If you are employed for a minimum of 25% time as an Academic Student Employee (i.e. Teaching Assistant, Teaching Associate, Reader, Tutor) or a Graduate Student Researcher, you are eligible to apply for reimbursement of childcare expenses up to $900 per quarter, including summer sessions. These expenses must be for the care of a student's dependent children 12 years and under, and the reimbursements ​are processed through the hiring department.

Graduate Student Association (GSA) Childcare Grant

The GSA runs a grant program to help graduate students offset the costs of childcare. Approved graduate students with single-child households will receive an award of $300; graduate students with more than one child will receive an award of $150 per additional child. Grants are limited to one award per graduate student per quarter, with a maximum of five awards allowed during a student’s academic tenure at UCSB. The application period opens on the 1st day of the quarter and closes on the last day of the quarter.

Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account

If you are employed​ as an Academic Student Employee (i.e. Teaching Assistant, Teaching Associate, Reader, Tutor) or a Graduate Student Researcher, you are eligible to enroll in a flexible spending account (FSA) for dependent care expenses. The DepCare FSA allows you to pay for eligible expenses for care of your child or eligible adult dependent on a pretax basis. As a result, your salary is reduced before taxes are assessed, and you pay less in taxes.

Women’s Center Bridge over Troubled Waters Fund

The Women’s Center provides small emergency grants to women who are single student parents. Grant amounts vary and are determined on a case-by-case basis. Students can receive this grant a maximum of one time per year. The turnaround time is approximately 1-2 weeks.

Financial Crisis Response Team

The Financial Crisis Response Team exists to assist students who are facing a financial crisis or urgent financial need. The team works closely to evaluate, respond to, and support students in crisis in a streamlined and timely manner. In order to apply for emergency funding, email FinancialCrisis@sa.ucsb.edu​ and a Financial Aid Advisor will contact you about next steps within 1-2 business days.


PARENTING ACCOMMODATIONS

UCSB-QT4A0150Academic Accommodations

The Graduate Division encourages student parents to maintain open lines of communication with their advisor and department in order to create academic solutions that work for all parties involved. In order to reinforce that cooperation and provide support to make accommodations possible, we offer options for parenting leaves of absence as well as expanded time-to-degree provisions for extraordinary parenting demands.

Employment Accommodations

Graduate students who are employed as Academic Student Employees or Graduate Student Researchers are eligible for limited paid and unpaid leave options related to pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting. Students should work with their advisor/PI, department, Academic Personnel, and the Graduate Division to find the most suitable accommodations for their particular needs.

Lactation Support Program

Our campus offers access to lactation rooms, breast pumps and supplies, and other types of lactation support through the Human Resources department.


SOCIAL SUPPORT

sbpepUCSB Graduate Students with Children Facebook Group

Connect with other UCSB grad student parents to ask questions, share resources, and plan meet-ups.

Non-Traditional Student Resource Center

The Non-Traditional Student Resource Center provides a community space for students whose life experiences may differ from traditional students, including graduate students who are over 29 years old, a domestic partnered or married student, and students with dependents. The Resource Center provides a space to study​ and relax, a staff person to guide you to resources, and social events to connect you with other students.

Postpartum Education for Parents (PEP)

This Santa Barbara non-profit is run by trained volunteers ​and offers mostly free training and support for new families. Services include expectant parent classes, new parent social groups,and a free 24-hour "warmline" ​that provides confidential one-on-one support. PEP’s philosophy is that there is no one right way to parent, and they offer new parents a safe environment to learn from and lean on their peers – free from judgement, soliciting, and pressure.

La Leche League of Santa Barbara (LLL)

An international non-profit organization offering mother-to-mother breastfeeding support, encouragement, information, and education. LLL organizes monthly meetings and occasional special meetings, such as Couples Meetings, Working Mothers Meetings, and Toddler Meetings.

Mamatoto

This local support group is for new moms and babies to gain friends, information, advice, and support related to attachment-style parenting.

Santa Barbara Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS)

​The local chapter of this international mothers support group hosts gatherings every other week for moms whose kids have not yet entered kindergarten.


OTHER RESOURCES

tree-climbingUCSB Associated Students (AS) Food ​Bank

The AS Food Bank is an organization that provides fresh, free, and nutritious food to students in order to tackle food insecurity on our campus. They offer a food pantry (available both on campus and at mobile distribution sites around the ​community), life skills workshops, assistance with CalFresh applications, and more.

The Pregnant Scholar

Online toolkit for university students, faculty, and administrators on pregnancy and parenting.

Profile Article on UCSB Graduate Student Parents

There are as many approaches to balancing competing life priorities as there are people. Check out this GradPost profile article to find out how four of our grad student parents make it all work, what campus resources they couldn’t live without, and what makes them proud.

Family-Friendly Activities in Santa Barbara

Check out this list of family-approved activities in our local area including museums, dining options, and outdoor excursions.


MORE INFORMATION & STAFF CONTACTS

Have questions or need guidance? Contact one of our Graduate Division staff members who specializes in graduate student parent issues:

SHAWN WARNER-GARCIA

Assistant Director of Professional Development

shawn.warner-garcia@graddiv.ucsb.edu

RYAN SIMS

Assistant Director of Academic Services

ryan.sims@graddiv.ucsb.edu