Expectant and New Parents' Guide

For Benefits Eligible Officers and Non-Union Support Staff

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To enroll your new child in your health plan, you must log into the HR benefits system and add your child as a dependent within 30 days of the child's birth or adoption.

A Flexible Spending Account (FSA) allows you to set aside pretax dollars from your paycheck to use towards commuting, health care and/or dependent care expenses.

The Child Care Benefit provides employees earning $150,000 or less ($135,000 prior to January 1, 2023) access to $4,000 per year to use toward early education and child care expenses. This benefit is provided through the Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and you must sign up through the HR benefits system within 30 days of the child's birth or adoption. More details can be found here, go to the section titled Dependent Care FSA.

Adoption Assistance Program assists with adoption-related costs by offering a reimbursement of up to $7,500 per adoption for qualified expenses.

Employee Assistance Program provides a network of specialized services, including short-term counseling to help you and your household members cope with everyday issues such as stress, family relationships, depression, and drug and alcohol abuse, as well as providing referrals for adult/elder care services, and convenience services.

Maven provides support to Columbia University faculty and staff in the following areas:

  • Preconception and fertility
  • Pregnancy, postpartum, and returning to work after parental leave
  • Adoption and surrogacy journeys
  • Lactation consultants

More information about these benefits is available on the Human Resources Website

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Office of Work/Life Programs & Services

Back-up care is for the care of adults, children, and elders nationwide, and in some international locations, for those situations when normal care arrangements are interrupted or when short-term care is required but you still need to attend to your work responsibilities.

Breastfeeding Support Program provides a variety of resources for faculty, staff, and students, including private lactation rooms equipped with hospital-grade breast pumps on all Columbia campuses. Attachment kits for the hospital-grade pumps are available for purchase on campus at below retail cost. A breastfeeding workshop is offered each semester.

  • School and Child Care Search Service provides individual consultations to assist families exploring early education and child care options.
  • The Columbia University Affiliated Early Learning Centers are independent centers, conveniently located on or near Columbia campuses and/or in University housing.
  • The PreK and Kindergarten NYC newsletter provides relevant and timely information on the admissions and enrollment process for NYC preK and Kindergarten programs.
  • Access priority enrollment to select Bright Horizons Child Care centers and tuition discounts at additional participating centers.
  • Use Sittercity for free access to a database of babysitters, nannies, and housekeepers to find child care help by searching listings or posting a job. Background checks are included.
  • Find tutors, test prep services, and homework helpers.
  • Meet other Columbia parents in your neighborhood, school, child care center through our Parent Connection database. 
  • Workshops on breastfeeding, child care, schooling, and more are offered each semester to support parents at the University.
  • Website Resources include descriptions of early education and child care options, lists of programs, tips and checklists for hiring an in-home child care provider, and more.

Explore programs and information to keep you and your family healthy, including this nutritional guide: Nourishing Mom and Baby.


Parental Policies

For more information, please refer to this link on our website.