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COVID-19: Parent and Family Resources

Find information and links to resources that support parents and families during COVID-19.

As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, many in our UC San Diego community are balancing work, childcare and other caregiving responsibilities, online teaching and learning, self-care and a range of other priorities. On this page, you'll find links and information about resources and programs, from within the University of California community and beyond, designed to support parents and families.

If you're feeling anxious or overwhelmed, please know that signs of stress are normal during this time and don’t mean anything is “wrong” with you or your child. Everyone is making significant adjustments in their routines in response to this unprecedented situation, and stress and anxiety can manifest in a broad number of ways. So we encourage you to explore these resources with that in mind.

We welcome your suggestions for additional resources to add to this page. Send your ideas, requests and suggestions to Hallie Nicholson, HR strategic communication and engagement manager.

Leave and Benefits Information for Parents and Families


Employees may be eligible for UC Expanded Paid Administrative Leave, Federal Emergency Paid Sick Leave and/or Federal Emergency Family Medical Leave to assist with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This leave may be used when an employee is unable to work because of a COVID-19 related school or daycare closure that requires the employee to be at home with a child or dependent and it is not operationally feasible for the employee to work remotely.

Leave Information for Staff:


Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs): Under the general rules of FSAs, certain changes that occur in an employee’s situation are considered “Change in Status” events which allow participants to increase or decrease contributions, or enroll or dis-enroll from a FSA. The COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on schools and workplaces may result in a Change of Status event.

Bright Horizons Care Advantage is a web-based resource to help you find parenting resources and select pre-screened caregivers for children, adults — and even pets. Whether you need everyday or occasional care, Bright Horizons Care Advantage provides a comprehensive childcare, pet care, and eldercare solution to complement UC's work/life benefits and employee assistance resources.

Bright Horizons World at Home: Explore a library of guided learning opportunities that follow a typical classroom daily schedule. The library includes activities and resources for infants, toddlers, preschoolers and K-12 students.

Parent Resources for School-Aged Children During School Closures

The following resources are designed to assist working parents identify options for their school-aged children due to school closures. UC San Diego does not endorse any specific option and encourages parents to research, ask questions, and ensure the environment is safe and conducive for their child’s distance learning.

We recognize that the following resources may not be practical or accessible to everyone and they may vary in their ability to support the learning experience and child care needs. Parents are also encouraged to check with their child’s school district, as additional resources may be available.

Download the information in PDF form »

Financial Assistance and Subsidies

San Diego for Every Child supports essential workers and at-risk populations with financial assistance for child care services through September 30, 2020, unless available funding allows for an extension. Funding is limited and provided by the City and County of San Diego. Click here for more information and to apply. If you are eligible for this assistance, please ensure the resource you select accepts the “San Diego for Every Child” voucher.

The San Diego County Eligibility List supports families in need of child care for children ages 0-13, or in special circumstances for children age 18 who have certain documented special needs such as, behavioral, physical or behavioral disability. Click here for more information and to apply.

External Resources

Bright Horizons

YMCA of San Diego County

A member of the KinderCare Education family of brands, Champions is backed by the resources and expertise of one of the world’s largest education companies.

Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center (JCC)

Boys and Girls Clubs of San Dieguito
(Serving Encinitas, Carmel Valley, Solana Beach and Del Mar)


UC San Diego Resources 

Additional Resources: COVID-19 Safety Practices and Types of Childcare 

Campus Programs and Resources

Support and Mental Wellbeing 

Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP): A division of Campus Human Resources, FSAP offers a variety of services and resources to help individuals and departments with a range of issues, including trauma recovery, wellness, grief, eldercare and family/relationship challenges. All services are free for UC San Diego campus employees and retirees.

UC San Diego Heath employees: Please contact your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provider aligned with your medical coverage. For additional information and questions about UC San Diego Health, please contact the Health Sciences Human Resources Services team at the protected employee portal or call (619) 543-3200.

Resources for Families at Home from Early Care and Education: Explore a curated list of resources created by the Early Childhood Education Center (ECEC) and Mesa Child Development Center (MCDC), including:

  • ECEC and MCDC Virtual Classroom: Virtual lessons, crafts, story time, activities and more created by ECEC and MCDC teachers and staff
  • Regional childcare resources and support programs
  • Website, articles and other online resources
  • Virtual entertainment

 Activities and Recreation

The Playground: Take advantage of UC San Diego Recreation's library of fitness, wellness and recreation classes you can take on your own time, including yoga, FlowLIFT, circuit workouts, tap, world dance, guitar and more.

  • Knock Around Kids: Enjoy content and resources designed for kids, including weekly classes like LEGO learning, Sunny's Fun & Games, Making Slime, Drawing Outside the Box, Glitter Mindfulness Jars, Indoor Scavenger Hunt and more. You'll find a schedule of classes and resources by scrolling down on the Playground page.

Birch Aquarium at Scripps: Check out the virtual events and resources offered by the Birch Aquarium while they're temporarily closed to the public.

Connect With Fellow UC San Diego Parents

Parents, Guardians and Caregivers Association (PGCA): As part of the UC San Diego Staff Association, the PGCA provides opportunities for networking, community building, and personal and professional growth for UC San Diego staff, faculty, students and university affiliates who are parents, guardians and/or caregivers.

Join the UCSD Parents group on Facebook »

Join the UC San Diego Moms Listserv »

Mental Health and Wellbeing

Mental Health and Wellbeing

COVID-19 Mental Health Resources from the UC San Francisco Department of Psychiatry

Mental Health and Wellbeing Resources for Families, Parents & Caregivers from San Diego County Health & Human Services

  • Curated articles and resources (regional and national) in both English and Spanish

Talking to Your Kids About Coronavirus

Mental Health Resources for Kids and Teens

Suggested Articles and Resources from the UC San Diego Women's Center

Fun and Educational Activities for Families at Home

Lessons and Activities to Go: Quick and easy activities for teachers, tutors, students, and families to use anytime and anywhere, created by the Teaching and Learning Collaborative

#CreateAtHome: Lists of curated resources from CreateCA, a statewide arts education coalition

COVID-19 Resources for Parents, Families and Educators: Curated list of resources from the California State PTA

PBS Kids Daily Newsletter (bottom of page): Subscribe to this newsletter from PBS that offers activities and tips for helping kids play and learn at home

Experts share how to keep kids healthy, learning during coronavirus school closures (San Diego Union Tribune)

ArtsEducation@Home from The Kennedy Center: Online arts education resources for students of all ages