Resource List for New and Expectant Parents

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The Office of Work/Life offers an array of resources to help support new and expectant parents. 

This resource list will give an overview of the variety of ways that Columbia can support you and your family as you embark on this exciting life transition of welcoming a baby into your home! 

Explore the following resources:

Office of Work/Life Programs and Services

Our website offers expertise and guidance as you explore early education and child care or K-12 schooling options.

  • School and Child Care Search Service provides individualized information 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.
  • 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.

Columbia University offers an array of resources to help support parents and is committed to ensuring that the needs of lactating women are met.

Columbia provides Lactation Rooms to support faculty, staff, and students returning to work, school, or campus. Visit our Lactation Room webpage to learn how to access the rooms.

This is an educational workshop for expectant and new mothers who want to breastfeed their babies when they return to work or school. Participants learn breastfeeding basics, including common difficulties and how to manage them, and return-to-work/school strategies and resources. 

This is a guide to nutrition before, during, and after pregnancy. Explore additional well-being programs through the Office of Work/Life.

Columbia University partners with Bright Horizons to provide support for a wide range of family care needs. 

These programs offer additional family support through:

  • 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, adult/elder care, and housekeepers by searching listings or posting a job. Background checks are included.
  • Find tutors, test prep services, and homework helpers.

Columbia faculty, staff, and students are responsible for costs related to care for these services.

Back-Up Care Advantage Program

This program provides care for adults/elders, children, or yourself when normal care arrangements are interrupted or when short-term care is required but you still need to perform your academic or work responsibilities. For these situations, Columbia University has contracted with Bright Horizons Family Solutions to provide an allotment of back-up care hours; available 24/7, nationwide and in some international locations. 

Please review the website to determine eligibility.

Parent Connection is an opportunity to discover other Columbia families who have children the same ages, might go to the same school (but you didn’t know it!) or live in the same neighborhood.  

You can opt in and search for others who may want to share caregiving or school pick-ups, hire a caregiver together, take turns supervising remote learning, or just make a new family friend.  Do you want to learn more about a particular school?  Parent Connection can also help you find families who are already enrolled who may be willing to share their experience.  

Click here to access our list of resources and online communities for parents living in neighborhoods around Columbia campuses. 

Visit the video library, and check out recordings of past workshops when it’s convenient for you.  

In the virtual Well-Being video library, you will find many exciting events, including yoga, meditation and stretching sessions.

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Information for Columbia Employees

Columbia has adopted policies to fit the needs of parents caring for children while pursuing a career. 

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.

Columbia University offers several tax savings accounts, including the Healthcare and Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) to help you save.

Eligible Officers can elect to receive up to a $5,000 contribution from Columbia to a Dependent Care FSA.

Columbia uses a convenient digital platform, called Maven, to support all paths to parenthood. Maven members can book virtual appointments for unlimited coaching and education with providers across more than 30 specialties, including OB-GYNs, mental health specialists, and infant sleep coaches. Maven also provides an extensive library of provider-backed articles and expert-led virtual classes.

The Columbia University Adoption Assistance Program is a benefit designed to help with the cost of adopting a child.

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Information for Columbia Students

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).


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 hereBe sure to also check with your School.

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Additional University Resources 

Review the Office of Environmental Health and Safety's guidelines for pregnant people working in proximity to hazardous materials.