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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 Policies and resources, including family support for health coverage and parenting costs, Ph.D. parental relief policy, 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.

Ph.D. Student Family Support and Health Care 

  • The Ph.D. Student Family Support Policy offers a flexible subsidy of $4,600/year to GSAS Ph.D. students with children up to age 12. It can be used to purchase spousal Yale health coverage, for child care or other family costs, and is not means-tested (no income ceiling or documentation).
  • Healthcare Options for GSAS student Families - All full-time students are automatically enrolled in Yale Health (YH), offering outstanding convenient health care coverage. The Graduate School provides full YH coverage for all Ph.D. students, and for their children up to age 26. When a Ph.D. student is enrolled with a legally married spouse, the the Graduate School provides for half the cost of the two-person plan. See Ph.D. Student Family support policy for details.
  • Yale Dental and Eye Care are optional graduate student coverage plans. You can enroll yourself, your partner and/or your dependent children in the optional dental and eye care plans from outside providers for additional fees. Enroll by Sept. 15th annually. These non-Yale Health plans are not covered by the GSAS Health Fellowship.

Parental Support & Relief Policy - Updated Policy

Registered Ph.D. students who wish to modify their academic responsibilities because of the birth or adoption of a child may request parental support and relief during or following the term in which the birth or adoption occurs. For the whole of the term in which the support and relief are granted, the student’s academic clock stops, effectively adding an additional term to the total time to degree. During this period, students remain registered full-time, receive a standard financial aid stipend and Health Award, and receive modified departmental academic expectations that best suit the specific situation. The precise nature of the academic responsibilities undertaken or suspended during this period should be a matter of consultation between the adviser and the student, with the understanding that students are entitled to full relief from responsibilities for at least an eight-week period. Most students take an entire term of parental relief, but the relief may be split in two, with a student taking only eight weeks of relief during the term in which, or just after, a birth or adoption occurs and then receiving an additional eight weeks of stipend funded by the Graduate School postponed to a later term. Parental relief may not be combined with other funding. To arrange for parental relief, a student should contact the GSAS associate dean for graduate student advising and academic support prior to the term of the birth or adoption. This benefit is limited to two birth or adoption events. If both parents are Ph.D. students at Yale, both may receive this benefit per birth or adoption event.

Graduate students in terminal M.A.S./M.A./M.S. programs may modify their academic responsibilities because of the birth or adoption of a child. They should contact the associate dean the term before the planned modifications would occur.

Yale Family 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, parenting,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

The 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.
  • Info New Haven showcases fun things you can do with your kids in the city.
  • 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.

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 GSL events calendar (Yale NetID login required) and Yale Grad Parents Facebook group.

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, crafts, outings, etc. will explicitly state if children are allowed to attend with parents or not, and if there is a suggested age range.