SUBSIDIZED CHILD CARE
The University of California, Berkeley Early Childhood Education Program (ECEP) has a limited number of subsidized child care spaces for low-income students who qualify for California Department of Education subsidies (free or sliding-scale). Students must also meet need eligibility requirements. See ECEP’s Application and Instructions for Subsidized Services for more information: - Application for Child Care.
FULL FEE CHILD CARE
In addition to subsidized spaces, a number of full-fee slots have been reserved for student families. Early applications are advisable. Many families apply within a few months after their child's birth, or before they move to the area. Applications for infant spaces can be initiated during pregnancy, but you must contact our office after the birth to verify name, gender and birth date for the application to remain valid. Most children who are accepted will enroll at the start of the fall semester (mid-August). Limited spaces may become available throughout the year.
IF YOUR CHILD IS ACCEPTED, before your child enters the program, the following must be on file with the Early Childhood Education Program’s Office:
- A completed confidential application for child care
- Current income verification (for subsidized care only)
- Child's Medical Form (completed by a physician)
- Training Verification form (for subsidized care only)
- Proof of current UCB Registration
- Child's Birth Certificate
- Child’s Immunization Record
Your child's Medical Form, need not be submitted at the time of application, but will be required upon notification of acceptance to the program. You may want to schedule an appointment with your child's physician for completion of the medical form if you have not already done so.
ACCEPTANCE TO THE PROGRAM
Admission can be offered at any time, though most acceptance offers for student families occur between early June and August. Initial acceptances are made on the basis of information on your application, the age of your child, and the vacant spaces in each classroom. Once you have been notified of your tentative acceptance, you will be scheduled for an intake interview to determine final admission. At that time, if you have not already done so, you will be required to submit your child's medical form. You will also be scheduled for a visit to the center your child will be attending to meet with the teacher or site coordinator to discuss the center's policies and to schedule your child care hours for the upcoming semester.
HOURS OF CARE
Families are generally offered five full days of care from 7:45 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. However, some rooms at ‘nine-month’ centers may have a shorter day (9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. for example). And a very limited number of part-week (3-4 days/week) spaces may be available at specific centers. The Admissions Coordinator will have current information.
WHAT IF YOU ARE NOT ACCEPTED?
There is a great demand for our services, particularly for infants and young toddlers, and unfortunately we are not able to serve all families applying for care. If you are eligible for subsidized care, but are not accepted into the program due to space limitations, low priority number or late application, you will be placed on an Eligibility List and called when a vacancy in an age appropriate center occurs for which your child is eligible. Status on the Eligibility List is based on income and unlike a waiting list your status does not automatically improve over time.
All applications are reviewed according to State Eligibility Guidelines as they are submitted and the Eligibility List is updated accordingly. It is your responsibility to inform the Early Childhood Education Programs Office if there is a change in your income, family size, activity of either parent or if you want your application withdrawn from the list.
Although the majority of new acceptances are for enrollment in the fall semester, any vacancies that occur during the year will be filled from the Wait List applicants. Enrollment is possible at any time, though most calls about fall acceptance for student families occur between early June and August
We do not maintain a list of referrals, but a couple of alternatives you may wish to look into are the Berkeley Unified Child Development Center 644-6203, Albany Children's Center 559-6590 and Bananas 658-0381 www.bananasinc.org.
UC Berkeley Early Childhood Education Program does not discriminate in its admission policies against any child because of race, gender, sex, sexual orientation, ancestry, national origin, religion, color or ethnic background. We serve within the limits of our professional abilities children with special needs (physical, linguistic, mental and/or emotional).
We ensure that all family records are kept confidential.
ABOUT OUR CENTERS
Most of our centers operate year round, though classrooms that generally serve students at the Albany Village Center, the Infant-Toddler Center and the Clark Kerr Preschool may close in the summer between late May and late August. These classrooms are also closed for 3-4 weeks during Winter Break. The ‘Year Round Centers’ (Haste Street Center, Child Study Center, Clark Kerr Infant Center, and Girton Hall) are closed for 1 week at the end of the ECEP summer session (generally the first week of August), and for about 2 weeks in December/ January. See: http://www.housing.berkeley.edu/child/locations/.
All of our programs serve breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack. Meals are prepared in accordance with the Child Care Food Program guidelines ensuring well-balanced meals. Though our program is not Certified Organic, we do our best to offer sustainable items including whole grains and as many organic and natural options as possible such as organic milk, cheese, eggs and healthy seasonal fruits and vegetables. Menus are posted at each center so parents can see what's good to eat.
Our centers strive to provide a warm, challenging environment that attends to the emotional, physical and educational growth of each child. To this end, we provide an atmosphere of respect for the individual child, in a warm, safe and clean supervised environment. Developing a sense of trust and well being, while encouraging each child's natural curiosity and desire to learn, is achieved through a variety of enjoyable and interesting age appropriate activities.
The ECEP follows a developmental play based curriculum model which incorporates both teacher-initiated and child-initiated activities as well as small/large group activities. We feel that a child-centered program is most appropriate for children in our infant, toddler and preschool programs. Our classrooms provide rich learning environments with age-appropriate yet challenging play equipment and materials, learning centers that encourage exploration and discovery, discussion and child and adult interaction.
Teachers plan activities based on children’s interests and our goals for their learning of content and skills. These activities center on physical, social, cognitive and emotional stages of development (including kindergarten readiness skills for the children to help them as they prepare for kindergarten in the public schools).
ECEP staffs classrooms according to ‘best practice’ standards. Adult-child ratios at the centers range between 1:3 and 1:8 for infant through preschool rooms. Student Assistants often supplement staffing to provide additional care. Most teachers have a Child Development Teacher permit or higher, and an AA degree or higher. Many of the teachers have a BA or MA in addition to the permit. Teacher Assistants have at least 12 ECE units and have, or are working toward, a permit. Student assistants are enrolled at UC Berkeley and have prior experience working with children. They receive on-the-job training throughout the year.
The direct partnership between parents and teachers is essential in successfully attaining these goals. Parents have a right to know what their child is doing at school and to be involved in the life of the program. Parents are encouraged to make arrangements to visit the centers before their child starts to get a first hand look at the children and staff in action.
Student parents are encouraged to volunteer in the centers in a variety of roles. They assist in classroom activities, walks and field trips, often one hour each week, or may serve on the Parent Advisory Committee.
Parents with children at all UCB centers should understand that their children may be observed for research or teacher training purposes, or that they may be approached regarding participation in studies or surveys.