Expectant and New Parents' Guide For Students

This information is intended to provide some guidance as you explore the benefits, policies, programs, and services relevant to expectant and new parents at Columbia University.

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Office of Work/Life Programs & Services

Back-up care (pending eligibility) 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 academic responsibilities.

Breastfeeding support program provides a variety of supports and educational 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 purchases on campus at below retail cost. A breastfeeding workshop is offered each semester, free of charge. 

  • 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.
  • The Columbia University Affiliated Early Learning Centers are independent centers, conveniently located on or near Columbia campuses and/or in University housing,
  • 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. 
  • The PreK and Kindergarten NYC newsletter provides relevant and timely information on the admissions and enrollment process for NYC PreK and Kindergarten programs.

Workshops on parenting, child care, schooling, and more are offered each semester to support parents at the University. Additional workshops on adult/elder care, housing, and wellness are also offered through the Office of Work/Life.

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Benefits, Policies & Resources

Columbia Student Health Insurance has options for prenatal and postnatal care and for health insurance options for dependents.

Child Care Subsidy is available for fully funded Ph.D. or D.M.A. candidates in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and fully funded Ph.D. candidates in School of Engineering and Applied Sciences for each child who qualifies (under the age of five and not yet attending Kindergarten).

GSAS: gsas.columbia.edu/student-parents

SEAS: Contact Tiffany Simon at [email protected]

This benefit is available to A&S doctoral candidates who have incurred expenses related to the adoption of a child under the age of 18. Please review the policy in detail to learn about eligibility and the types of expenses that can be reimbursed.

CUIMC: Ph.D students should contact D. Ryce in the Office of Faculty Affairs to discuss leave options.

Morningside: Students who give birth, adopt, or become legal guardians or foster parents, as well as students whose spouse or partner gives birth, can have responsibilities associated with their doctoral program suspended for twelve calendar weeks without loss of funding. In addition, students may elect to take a semester of unpaid accommodation after their paid leave concludes. Please see the details here. Be sure to also check with your School.