Tailored support for your child care needs

Last updated: December 1, 2023

Balancing family life with academic or professional commitments is challenging. That’s why we’ve curated a suite of resources specifically for our UW families, designed to support you in finding and securing the best child care solutions.

This section provides an overview of the exclusive benefits, programs and partnerships available to UW faculty and staff. From priority access to top-tier child care centers to discounts on in-home care services, these resources are tailored to meet the diverse needs of our community.

On-campus child care options

Each of these on-campus options reflects the University of Washington’s commitment to providing high-quality, diverse child care solutions. Whether you’re looking for a traditional educational setting, an inclusive learning environment, or a nature-based educational experience, these programs are designed to support the developmental needs of your child while aligning with the values and requirements of our university community.

Tip: On-campus child care options are in high demand, with the UW Child Care Centers having two year plus waiting lists for infant spaces. We strongly recommend joining the wait pool for center spaces long before you might need one.

Email the child care directly with questions about your wait pool status, adding a sibling to an existing wait pool application, or to remove yourself from the wait pool.

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UW Child Care Centers

In total, there are six childcare centers at the University of Washington: four on the Seattle campus, one on the Harborview campus, and one at University of Washington Medical Center Northwest campus.

Seattle campus centers

The Seattle campus has four child care centers: Radford Court, Laurel Village, Portage Bay, and West Campus. These centers cater to children from birth to six years old, providing a safe, nurturing, and stimulating environment.

Each center offers a Montessori curriculum that fosters all areas of child development: cognitive, emotional, social, and physical. The centers are staffed by experienced professionals committed to creating a supportive learning environment.

For more information on each location, services offered, and enrollment procedures, visit the UW Child Care Centers on the Seattle campus website.

Harborview Medical Center campus center

The University of Washington Children’s Center (UWCC) at Harborview offers year-round full-time care to infants, toddlers, preschool and Kindergarten prep and is operated by Bright Horizons.

For more information on each location, services offered, and enrollment procedures, visit the UW Child Care Center at Harborview Medical Center website.

University of Washington Medical Center Northwest campus center

The UW Medical Center children’s center at Northwest offers year-round care to infants, toddlers and preschoolers and is operated by UW Medical Center. Care options include full-time, part-time, and drop-in care. UW employees are eligible for enrollment, with priority given to employees of UW Medicine.

Each center offers a Reggio Emilia philosophy of focusing on a child’s natural development, the Center is child-centered and directed, embracing the philosophy that learning must make sense to the student to be effective and meaningful.

For more information on each location, services offered, and enrollment procedures, visit the UW Child Care Center at UW Medicine Northwest campus website.

Experimental Education Unit (EEU) at the Haring Center for Inclusive Education

The EEU is a renowned part of the Haring Center for Inclusive Education, located on the Seattle campus. It offers an innovative early childhood education program that promotes inclusive learning environments.

The EEU is unique in its approach to inclusivity, integrating children with and without disabilities in the same learning environment. This model fosters empathy, diversity and a rich educational experience.

To learn more about the EEU’s philosophy, programs and admission details, visit their website.

Fiddleheads Forest School

Situated in the Washington Park Arboretum, Fiddleheads Forest School provides a nature-based early childhood program. It’s an innovative approach that immerses children in the natural world, encouraging discovery, questioning, and cooperative play.

The program emphasizes outdoor education, where children learn through exploration and interaction with the environment, promoting a deep connection with nature.

For more details on the program and how to enroll your child, visit the Fiddleheads Forest School website.

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Off-campus child care options

Recognizing the diverse needs of our community, the UW extends a range of off-campus child care options, offering convenience, quality and affordability.

KinderCare benefits

UW families are eligible for priority enrollment at their Pacific Northwest centers located in Bothell, Mukilteo, Northgate, South Seattle, Wallingford, Woodinville and Yarrow Bay and a 10% discount at all KinderCare locations. This benefit extends to a variety of KinderCare services, including full-time, part-time, backup care, and before and after school programs.

How to Access: To learn more about location availability, tuition rates, and potential waitlists, visit KinderCare or contact them at 888-525-2780.

Bright Horizons benefits

UW families are eligible for priority enrollment at all Bright Horizons centers, along with access to a network of partner centers at discounted tuition rates.

How to Access: Visit the Bright Horizons UW website or call 877-624-4532 to locate centers in your area and receive information on tuition rates and potential wait pool.

Sittercity UW employees also receive a free premium membership to Sittercity, through UW’s relationship with Bright Horizons. This service assists in finding caregivers and offers free basic background checks. To access Sittercity tools and resources, visit Bright Horizons UW website and locate the “Find sitters, nannies, pet care and more” card under care programs for your family; click “use it” to access the registration page. This will bring you to UW’s Sittercity homepage, where you will create a username and password to gain access and begin to search for care solutions.

Already registered with Sittercity? You can use your existing username and password to access the SitterCity website. You will need to contact Sittercity membership services at 1-888-748-2489 to have your existing account associated with the University of Washington

Jovie through Bright Horizons: For personalized assistance in finding a nanny, Jovie offers services ranging from caregiver-focused placements to nannies trained as learning coaches. UW community members can enjoy a $300 discount or 30% off the placement fee, whichever is greater.

Contact for Assistance: If you encounter any issues with registration or need more information, contact Bright Horizons at 877-242-2737.

Au Pair in America Discounts

Au Pair in America provides a 5% program discount and waives the application fee for UW community members.

How to Access: For more information on this program and to access the discount, visit Au Pair in America.

Each of these off-campus options offers University of Washington families flexibility and variety in child care choices. Whether you prefer the structured environment of a child care center, the personalized care of a nanny or au pair, or the convenience of in-home services, these partnerships and discounts are designed to meet your child care needs effectively and affordably.

Emergency backup care with Bright Horizons
Unexpected situations can disrupt your regular child care arrangements, leaving you in need of reliable backup care. UW WorkLife, in partnership with Bright Horizons, offers a dependable solution for these unforeseen circumstances.

Key Features of Bright Horizons Backup Care:

Availability: Access backup care when your regular child care falls through, whether due to illness, school closures, or other unexpected events.

Flexibility: Choose from in-center care or in-home, accommodating a range of ages and needs.

Ease of Use: Register for this benefit in advance to ensure quick and easy access when the need arises.

Affordable Co-pays: Benefit from reasonable co-pays, making emergency care accessible without significant financial burden.

Quality and Reliability: Rest assured knowing that all care options are provided by vetted, high-quality caregivers and centers.

Register for this benefit before you need it! This proactive approach ensures you can quickly access care when required. Visit Bright Horizon’s back-up care for program details and how to register.

Section 4: Washington state community resources and subsidies

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