Students with children
Berkeley Back-Up Child Care offers both graduate and undergraduate student parents access to emergency back-up childcare at highly subsidized rates. The Back-Up Child Care program enables students to focus on study sessions, work on academic projects, travel to attend conferences or give presentations when their usual caregiving arrangements are unavailable. Registered students with dependent children will be eligible for up to 60 hours per academic year of in-home and/or center-based care by professional caregivers, with a very low hourly co-pay. Apply online for access to the Back-Up Child Care program (grad.berkeley.edu/backupchildcare).
The Early Childhood Education Program (ECEP) operates several centers near campus and at University Village in Albany. Full-day childcare is available Monday through Friday for children between three months and five years of age for families paying full-fee tuition. State subsidy (sliding scale) may be available for eligible registered students with children between 12 months and five years. Apply by May 20 for the fall semester, or November 1 for the spring semester. Applications are accepted year round (housing.berkeley.edu/child; 2339 Haste Street; 510/642-1827).
Albany Children’s Center serves the community and student families living in University Village. Fees are on a sliding scale, and children three years through second grade are accepted (acc.ausdk12.org; 720 Jackson Street, Albany; 510/559-6590).
Bananas Childcare Information and Referral Service is a parent-friendly community organization with lots of information on childcare referrals and other parenting issues (bananasinc.org; 5232 Claremont Avenue, Oakland; firstname.lastname@example.org; general information, 510/658-7353; referrals, 510/658-0381).
University Village Apartments in Albany currently has 974 apartments including one-, two-, and three-bedroom units. Check the website for proposed rents for 2014-15. Eligible students are married (with or without children), domestic partners, and single parents. Apartment size depends on the size of your family. Water, garbage, recycling, gas, electricity, parking, Internet data line, and basic cable are included in the base rent (housing.berkeley.edu; universityvillage.berkeley.edu; 2610 Channing Way; 510/642-4109).
The Cal Youth program offers a wide variety of recreational and sport activities for kids of all ages. Camps and year-round classes are designed to provide kids with seasons full of adventure, friendship, confidence-building, and fun (camps.berkeley.edu; email@example.com; 510/643-CAMP).
Strawberry Canyon Recreation Area (SCRA) has a combination play/lap swimming pool and a grassy area for sunbathing. The area is accessible by Bear Transit (recsports.berkeley.edu/facilities/rec-centers/strawberry-canyon-rec-area; lower Centennial Drive, behind Memorial Stadium; 510/643-6720).
Berkeley Parents Network is an extensive, parent-run website that contains all kinds of information for families who live in the Bay Area. It's truly a unique and excellent resource! Students can join a listserv of over 21,000 members for weekly email digests (parents.berkeley.edu).
Graduate students: There are several grants and programs available to graduate students with families (grad.berkeley.edu/financial/student_family.shtml).
The Student Parent Program, as a part of the Transfer, Re-entry, and Student Parent (TRSP) Center, provides support to students at Cal who are parents. Services include counseling and peer advising in all aspects of student achievement, as well as assistance in establishing and documenting eligibility for needed campus and community-based resources (financial aid, scholarships, subsidized childcare, family housing, dependent healthcare, social service benefits, other family resources). The Student Parent Program is also a resource for Cal students who are expecting a new baby and planning to continue their education (Baby Bears @ Cal Project). The Program provides a child-friendly space in the Cesar Chavez Center for parents to access resources, form study groups, use computers, nurse babies, change diapers, and form lasting friendships (trsp.berkeley.edu; 100 Cesar Chavez Student Center; firstname.lastname@example.org; 510/643-5729).
Credit bearing courses and internships include:
- Education 98/198: Once Upon a University (2 units, P/NP, successful strategies for combining academic achievement and parenting)
- Education 98/198: It Takes a Village (2 units, P/NP, builds student parent learning communities)
- Education 98/198: Beyond the Village (2 units, P/NP, family-focused career planning and graduate school preparation)
- Social Welfare 97/197: Student Parent Community Service Internships (1-3 units, P/NP)
- Watch late afternoon Cal Marching Band rehearsals (call 510/642-3436).
- Take an elevator ride to the top of the Campanile. If your kids don't like loud sounds, avoid noon or the beginning of an hour.
- Eat mini frozen yogurts on cones from Yogurt Park. Be sure to request rainbow sprinkles or gummi bear toppings.
- Walk to Memorial Glade for somersaulting.
- Play "Pooh Sticks" over one of Strawberry Creek's bridges.
- Tour the Lawrence Hall of Science.
- Get tie-dyed t-shirts, cool rocks, hair wraps, henna tattoos, and more on Telegraph Avenue.