UC Berkeley has long been a pioneer in designing and promoting family-friendly policies and programs for faculty, staff, and students.

Beginning in 1988, many advocacy and programmatic initiatives were led by the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Dependent Care, recently renamed the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Work and Family.

Since 2001, partnerships between the Graduate Division and the Office for Faculty Equity & Welfare have led to many family-friendly innovations that have been adopted or adapted by universities and government agencies throughout the U.S. and beyond.

In 2009, the Office for Faculty Equity & Welfare initiated an emergency back-up care program for assistant professors; the program was extended to all ladder-rank faculty and lecturers with security of employment in 2011. Its success contributed to inspiring this pilot program for students.

In 2013, the Graduate Division proposed this pilot program to the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Student Services and Fees (CACSSF), which includes undergraduate and graduate student representatives from the ASUC and the Graduate Assembly. With the endorsement of CACSSF, the proposal was approved first by Chancellor Robert Birgeneau and then by Chancellor Nicholas Dirks.
Funding for the pilot program comes from an allocation from student fees and also from a very generous grant from the Hutto Patterson Foundation, thanks to alumna Catherine Hutto Gordon.

Invaluable assistance in launching this program was provided by the Office for Faculty Equity & Welfare, within the Office of the Vice Provost for the Faculty.

Partnering with the Graduate Division in implementing the pilot program is the Student Parent Center, within the Division of Equity and Inclusion.

Many visionary and dedicated administrators, staff, faculty, and students — past and present, too numerous to name — deserve thanks for all these efforts.