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Early Childhood Education Center

UC San Diego's Early Childhood Education Center (ECEC) is open to the children of full-time UCSD students, staff, and faculty, as well as a limited number of non-UCSD affiliates. It offers full-time programs for children 3 months to 6-1/2 years old.

Children are admitted to ECEC for full-time enrollment only. For part-time care, see Mesa Child Development Program.

Preschool Openings Available (PDF)

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ECEC is accredited by theNational Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).


The center is located on the east campus in the Mesa Married and Graduate Student Housing complex, 9224 Regents Road (map).


The center operates weekdays, 7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. year round, excluding university holidays. An after-hours program is offered weekdays, 5–6 p.m.

Age-Appropriate Curriculum

The center operates 5 developmental programs based on an age-appropriate curriculum:

  • Young Infants (3–12 months)
  • Infants (11 months and walking to 24 months)
  • Toddlers (2 years)
  • Preschool (3 and 4 years)
  • Kindergarten (5–6 years).

State of California Child Community Care license numbers:

372006398 and 372006399

Referral Services

ECEC also offers referrals to local services and other resources to parents of young children.

Monthly Tuition

Monthly tuition (effective Sept. 1, 2013) fees include breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snack. Prices are slightly higher for non-UCSD affiliates. A family with more than one child enrolled will receive a 10% reduction on the younger child's tuition.

Developmental Program Monthly Tuition
Young Infants $1,643
Infants $1,581
Toddlers $1,380
Preschool and Kindergarten $1,254

Subsidized care: Parents who meet income guidelines may be eligible for subsidized care.


Parents may place a child on a waiting list before the child reaches eligible age. Submit a separate application for each child either online or by mail. Note: Applications are not complete until we receive your application fee.

  • Online: Complete an online application, then mail a check for a $35 non-refundable processing fee for each child (payable to UC Regents) to:

    University of California, San Diego
    Early Childhood Education Center, Mail Code 0962
    9500 Gilman Drive
    La Jolla, CA 92093-0962

  • By mail: Call (858) 246-0900 to request a printed application. Complete the application and send a check for a $35 non-refundable processing fee (payable to UC Regents) for each child to:

    University of California, San Diego
    Early Childhood Education Center, Mail Code 0962
    9500 Gilman Drive
    La Jolla, CA 92093-0962

If you have questions, contact Tracey Mantilla, Enrollment Coordinator.

Waiting Lists

ECEC files applications by the date received, either online or by mail. Each child is placed on a waiting list for the appropriate age group. When a vacancy occurs, a child on the waiting list for that age group is offered a spot in that classroom.

  • If your child reaches the cutoff age while on the waiting list for a classroom, ECEC moves your child to the next age-appropriate list. Your child's application is integrated into this list according to the date we received your original application. Families (UCSD affiliated, non-subsidized) with children already enrolled at ECEC receive priority enrollment. Children referred by Child Protective Services also receive priority on the subsidized waiting list.
  • Contact information: Parents or guardians must keep contact information (phone number and address) current. If ECEC cannot reach you when an opening occurs, your child(ren) will be removed from the waiting list. To update your phone number or address, call ECEC at (858) 246-0900.
  • If you call about your child's position on a waiting list, ECEC can tell you only the number of children preceding your child on that particular list at that time.

After-Hours Program

ECEC offers an after-hours program for a limited number of students whose parents cannot pick up their children before 5 p.m. Children age 18 months and older are eligible.

  • Hours are 5–6 p.m.
  • Fee per child: $7 for the hour from 5–6 p.m.

Note: Parents who do not pick up their children by 6 p.m. will be fined $10 for every 15-minute increment past 6 p.m.

In the rare event that the after-hours program will be closed, parents will receive at least 1 week notice. On those days, parents who do not pick their children up by 5 p.m. will be fined $10 for every 15-minute increment past 5 p.m.

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Note: this page has a friendly link that's easy to remember: http://blink.ucsd.edu/go/ecec