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Graduate Students with Children

Grad Family Friendly Services

As student parents, the Graduate School of Arts and Science (GSAS) and Yale offer you many family friendly programs and resources, including health coverage and parental relief, graduate housing options, worklife programs and McDougal Center Family activities. If you have general questions about family friendly services or resources, please contact Asst. Dean for Student Affairs Lisa Brandes.

Family Health Care 

  • All graduate students can enroll their children in Yale Health. Ph.D. students with children can receive the Graduate School Health Fellowship for the full cost of Yale Health coverage for 2-3+ person families with dependent children under 26. Contact the Graduate School Financial Aid Office with questions.
  • Graduate school students are automatically enrolled in Yale Health Basic at no cost, for primary care and Mental Health and Counseling Services. Students can enroll their spouses and children in Yale Health and access family counseling resources.
  • WELL/A Mother’s Place offers childbirth education classes, pregnancy and nursing supplies and resources, including a free breastfeeding mothers’ support group. Yale Health members receive a 10% discount on WELL childbirth education classes.
  • Yale Dental and Eye Care plan are optional coverage plans. You can enroll yourself, your partner and/or your dependent children in the optional dental and eye care plans from outside (non Yale Health) providers for additional fees. Enroll by Sept. 15th annually. These plans are not covered by the GSAS Health Fellowship.

GSAS Parental Support & Relief Policy

For all Ph.D. Students, GSAS provides parental relief from academic, research and teaching duties for at least 8 weeks for the birth or adoption of a child. As a doctoral student new parent, GSAS provides you with an incremental term of registered status (extension of time to degree), during which you continue to receive a full stipend and the GSAS Health fellowship. 

A traditional leave of absence for parental responsibilities also is available to all registered GSAS students. Students in terminal M.A./M.S. programs may modify their academic responsibilities due to birth/adoption of a child. 

Yale Resources

Family-friendly housing options include on-campus graduate housing apartments, Yale owned but privately-managed Elm Campus apartments, and off-campus units in diverse neighborhoods.

Yale Worklife programs enable you to balance academics, work and life with resources on family life, including adoption, breastfeeding, childbirth, childcare, marriage and divorce, eldercare, pet care and more. Email with questions or concerns. Register with Worklife to receive the New Parent Packet (with a free Yale gift for your new child) and get their monthly newsletter.

Yale Museums and Galleries offers programs for all ages

Chi​ld Care Resources & Tips

Yale Child Care Directory for greater New Haven and Worklife child care consultations can help you find the right care for your child. 

  • Yale and the New Haven area offer a wide range of child care options: several Yale-affiliated centers, local centers, public pre-schools, independent nursery schools, licensed family care providers, and in-home care. 

  • High-quality child care, especially for infants, can be expensive in the US, however, some facilities offer sliding fee scales or scholarships based upon family income. Pre-school programs for children 3 to 5 years old in certain communities may offer subsidized “school readiness” slots. 

Yale Back Up Care provides subsidized in home care when your regular day care provider is unavailable. It also works as childcare for when you travel to academic conferences with your child.

  • Available to G&P students: Yale has contracted with Caregivers On Call, an established provider of back-up child care since 1991, to provide eligible members of the Yale community with up to 40 hours of services per household per year at University-subsidized rates. Graduate students pay just $7 an hour.

Yale Babysitting Service can help you to find a Yale student to care for your child on an occasional basis. Only current Yale faculty, staff and students may use the service, with Yale students as sitters and/or as parents seeking caregivers. It's a self-service system. Contact if questions.

Local Resources for Children & Parents

  • New Haven Youth Map lists after-school, weekend and summer activities to help children and family members learn, grow, and thrive.
  • Kids Stuff from Info New Haven showcases fun things to do with your kids in the city.
  • Kidhaven is another resource for things to do with kids in New Haven. The local blog and parent-review site lists resources and events for parents and kids.
  • CT Parent is an online resource guide and monthly printed magazine of family-friendly events and information. Pickup printed copies in the McDougal Center at HGS and around town.

Schools Pre-K to Grades 12 (age 3-18)

The New Haven Public School (NHPS) system is a national model for school reform involving teachers, administrators, parents and students. NHPS has neighborhood and themed magnet public schools that are free of charge and offer free breakfast and lunch to all students ages 5-18, or grades K-12. See the NHPS website for information on school choice and lottery programs, school ratings and evaluations. Many public schools offer Pre-Kindergarten or Early Childhood education programs for children ages 3-5.

SchoolHaven, a website developed by a Yale graduate student spouse, allows parents to share reviews and information about local schools.

Greater New Haven area schools info, including public, independent, and religious schools.

Family Programs, McDougal Graduate Student Life

The Graduate Student Life office plans family-friendly events year-round. See the events calendar, Facebook group and monthly McDougal Family E-notes. The McDougal Graduate Student Center has family resources and facilities.

  • For Advice and Advocacy, contact Lisa Brandes, Assistant Dean for Student Life, and for confidential advice and advocacy on family and personal issues.
  • Monthly McDougal Family Activities and Outings are planned by McDougal Family Fellows. Come and enjoy family-friendly events like farm trips, holiday parties, and arts programs. Meet other graduate families for fun and support. 
  • Graduate Parents Workshops. held occasionally at lunchtime, covers parenting topics of interest for student parents, spouses/partners. Kids are welcome with caregivers.
  • Grad Parents can socialize and take a break at McDougal GSL monthly First Friday at Five (FFF) Happy Hours, for those 21 and over with ID. As these are 21+ adult only events, for legal and safety reasons, no one under 21, including children, is allowed at FFF. Students with partners can trade off child care duties or arrange for a sitter in order to attend FFF
  • McDougal GSL events like arts, craft, outings, etc. will explicitly state if children are allowed to attend with parents or not, and if there is a suggested age range.