Resources and information

for low-income and student families in Los Angeles


This document was compiled for folks, particularly students/low-income students, with dependents living in the Los Angeles area. Originally designed for incoming UCLA Philosophy graduate students with dependents, this document contains more generally useful information about Los Angeles-area resources, activities, and social services. Please feel free to circulate widely. For suggestions, corrections, or more info, email

Table of Contents:

Resources (health insurance, maternity leave, etc.) for UCLA Student Employees

Childcare Reimbursement

This program is for registered UCLA students holding at least a 25% ASE and/or GSR appointment during the academic year and who have (a) qualified dependent(s). An ASE/GSR who meets the standard eligibility requirements will be offered a reimbursement of up to $900 per quarter or $1,350 per semester for childcare costs during the academic year. Additionally, an ASE/GSR who meets the standard eligibility criteria for a summer session appointment can be reimbursed up to $900 for eligible expenses incurred during the summer. The $900 limit applies regardless of the number of summer terms an ASE/GSR may work in a calendar year. To be eligible for reimbursement during the summer term, the ASE/GSR must also be a registered student in the regular academic terms preceding and following the summer session appointment.

For more information, and for reimbursement form:

Maternity Leave

The UCLA Childbirth Accommodation Fund was established to provide expectant mothers who work as GSRs, or who hold extramural fellowships that do not fund maternity leave, with paid leave for up to six weeks. A student may choose to continue to work in some modified capacity during these six weeks but is not required to do so. A longer period of leave may be granted, without pay, in the case of exceptional medical circumstances experienced by the mother or child before or after birth.

Six weeks of maternity leave funding are automatically granted for expectant mothers holding UCLA Fellowships, Graduate Division Endowed Fellowships or fellowships offered by academic departments and centers at UCLA. (Refer to the Graduate Student Financial Support booklet for lists of these fellowships.) Also, a student holding a TAship is eligible to receive up to six (6) weeks of paid leave for pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions for the period prior to, during and after childbirth (refer to Article 17 Leaves of the University of California and the UAW contract). You do not need to apply for Childbirth Accommodation Funding if you have an appointment as a TA nor if you have these types of fellowships.

Most extramural fellowships will defer to University policy and fund up to six weeks of maternity leave. If this is the case, you do not need to apply for Childbirth Accommodation Funding.

You may apply for Childbirth Accommodation Funding for multiple fellowships concurrently. If you have a GSR appointment AND extramural fellowships, you may apply for funding for all of them.

For more information and for application form:

Dependent Coverage

Undergraduate, graduate and professional students who are enrolled in UC SHIP have the option to enroll eligible dependents in a voluntary insurance plan. The plan provides Anthem Blue Cross PPO medical insurance with the option to purchase Delta Dental benefits.

For more information, enrollment forms, and fees:

Little Bruins Clubhouse

UCLA Recreation has begun a pilot program called the Little Bruins Clubhouse, which provides free evening child care services. The clubhouse’s activities will be coordinated by UCLA Recreation’s Youth Programs, an organization that has provided summer camps to UCLA community members for decades. The program’s activities will therefore resemble summer camp activities, such as games, homework supervision and art projects, according to a UCLA Recreation statement.

For more information (since this is a brand new pilot program, the link below is not that informative. A website with more complete information is under construction.):

Childcare in LA

Non-Profit Resource and Referral Agencies

These agencies will help you find childcare in your area. They also provide subsidies (through the state) for eligible families throughout Los Angeles County. The subsidies may be used for any participating private childcare provider. Most childcare providers participate. As of 1/4/2017, the only families that can expect to immediately receive childcare subsidies are families in which both the children and the adults in the household are receiving cash aid (Called ‘Stage 1’). If the adults in a family have received cash aid in the last two years (but are not currently receiving it), that family has a good chance of receiving a subsidy (‘Stage 2’). However, because of the CA budget crisis, families who are not and have not recently received cash aid, though eligible for smaller subsidies, can’t expect to receive subsidies anytime soon. The waitlist for these families is frozen. (Call to check the status regularly; but keep in mind that your chances of getting subsidies anytime soon are quite low, unfortunately).

All of Los Angeles

Childcare Alliance (CCALA)

815 Colorado Blvd.,

Second Floor, Suite C

Los Angeles, CA 90041



CCALA is an umbrella agency / alliance of ten agencies (including the agencies listed below) that provides general information and resources. For more specific information, call the agency below that services your area.

West Side

Connections for Children

2701 Ocean Park Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405


Central LA/South Bay

Crystal Stairs

5110 W Goldleaf Cir Ste 150, Los Angeles, CA 90056


Central LA/East Side


3325 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1100, Los Angeles, CA 90010

213-427 2700

*Please note: the childcare options listed below are referrals, not recommendations, unless otherwise noted.

Subsidized / Sliding Scale Options

Infants (0-2 years)

 There are two main options: infant centers or home daycares. The former are typically more expensive and spots are limited. The latter tend to be less expensive and there are more spots available. We recommend putting your child’s name on several wait-lists as soon as possible. It is also much more difficult to find low-cost or sliding scale options for infants. If you qualify for Stage 1 subsidies, it will likely cover much of your infant care. If not, you’re likely looking at $1000-2000/month for full-time infant care, unless you get into one of the few programs that offer tuition assistance. There are a few at UCLA.

UCLA child care

All centers provide childcare from 6 weeks to 5 years. Waitlists are long, so get on them ASAP. Tuition assistance available for eligible families.

Krieger Center (on campus)

6 weeks-5 years

Bellagio Dr.

Los Angeles, CA 90024


Fernald Center (on campus)

6 weeks-5 years

10620 Sunset Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90077


University Village Center
6 weeks-5 years

3233 S Sepulveda Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90034


UCLA Westwood Child Care Center
6 weeks-5 years

10861 Weyburn Avenue

Los Angeles, CA 90024


UCLA Intervention Program

For infants and toddlers with developmental risks and disabilities.

1000 Veteran Avenue, Suite 23-10

Los Angeles, CA 90095  

Early Head Start

Early Head Start is from birth-3 years. Families at or below the federal poverty level (FPL) who are working, in school, or looking for work definitely qualify. If space is available, families at up to 130% of FPL are eligible. Here are the income ceilings for Early Head Start as well as a comprehensive list of programs:

(The following list is not exhaustive; for more options, visit

West Side

Venice Family Clinic

Head Start/ Early Head Start

2509 Pico Blvd

Santa Monica, CA 90405

(310) 664-7536

Westside Children’s Center, Inc.

Head Start/ Early Head Start

12120 Wagner Street

Culver City, CA 90230

(310) 397-4200 #6512

PACE – Los Angeles

Head Start/ Early Head Start

1055 Wilshire Blvd Suite #1050

Los Angeles, CA 90017

(213) 989-3244

2 years and up

UCLA child care

See above. All centers through 5 years.

Early Education Centers (EECs)

EECs are a state-funded affordable option, for ages 2-5. Subsidies available up to the full cost of tuition, depending on household income.

For questions/more info:

Los Angeles Unified School District

333 South Beaudry Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90017


EEC Website:

For a complete list of Early Education Centers in the LA Unified School District, go to this link and click ‘EEC locations’. The following list is not exhaustive.

West Side:

Shenandoah Early Education Center

8861 Beverlywood St.

Los Angeles, CA 90034


Marina Early Education Center

4908 Westlawn Ave.

Los Angeles, CA 90066


California State Preschool (CSPP):

California State Preschools are another affordable option for 3-4 year olds. Subsidies available, up to the full cost of tuition, depending on household income. (As of 1/4/2017, the household income ceiling was around $3800). There are waitlists, though, so get on them ASAP! Four year olds have priority. Some programs are only part-day; some have both part-day and full-day options. Be sure to look into / get on the wait-list in multiple districts! Your child may attend any state preschool, regardless of whether you live in the district.

Santa Monica / Malibu School District

There are nine state preschools in the Santa Monica/Malibu School District: McKinley, Pine, Franklin, Washington West, G. Woods, Will Rogers, John Adams, John Muir, Lincoln, Infant / Toddler Center Infant / Toddler Center. To apply for one/some/first available, fill out this application:


For questions/more info:

Child Development Services

2828 Fourth Street

Santa Monica, CA 90405


Culver City School District

There are six state preschools in the Culver City School District: Center for Early Education, El Marino, El Rincon, Farragut, Lin Howe, and La Ballona. To apply for one/some/all of them, fill out this application:


For questions/more info:

CCUSD Office of Child Development

10800 Farragut Drive, Culver City, CA 90230


Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD)

To find a CSPP in LAUSD, go to this link and on the drop down menu under ‘School Search’ , select ‘STATE PRESCHOOL’. Then select the desired district from the next drop down menu.

(Note, the following list is not exhaustive.)

West Side:

Braddock Dr CSPP        

4711 Inglewood Blvd. Rm. 2

Culver City, CA, 90230 (Culver City/ Mar Vista)        


Stoner Ave CSPP        

11735 Braddock Dr.

Los Angeles, CA 90230 (Mar Vista)


Kentwood SPS        

8401 Emerson Ave        

Los Angeles, CA 90045 (Del Rey/Playa Vista)

Central LA:

Cheremoya Ave SPS        

6017 Franklin Ave

Los Angeles, CA 90028 (Hollywood)        


Selma Ave SPS        

6611 Selma Ave        

Los Angeles, CA 90028 (Hollywood)

Gardner St SPS        

7450 Hawthorne Ave.        

Los Angeles, CA 90046 (West Hollywood)


South LA / South Bay:

Coliseum St CSPP        

4400 Coliseum St.

Los Angeles, CA 90016 (Baldwin Hills-Crenshaw)


Century Park CSPP

10935 S Spinning Ave

Inglewood, CA 90303        


East Side:

LTSC Angelina Preschool

1336 W Angelina St. #108

Los Angeles, 90026 (Echo Park)


Head Start

Head Start is for ages 3-5. Early Head Start is from birth-3 years. Families at or below the federal poverty level (FPL) definitely qualify. If space is available, families at up to 130% of FPL are eligible. Here are the income ceilings for Head Start as well as a comprehensive list of programs:

(The following list is not exhaustive; for more options, visit

West Side

Volunteers of America, Mar Vista

Head Start

11815 Allin Street

Culver City, CA 90230

(310) 482-3981

Venice Family Clinic

Head Start/ Early Head Start

2509 Pico Blvd

Santa Monica, CA 90405

(310) 664-7536

Westside Children’s Center, Inc.

Head Start/ Early Head Start

12120 Wagner Street

Culver City, CA 90230

(310) 397-4200 #6512

Children's Institute, Inc.

Head Start

711 S New Hampshire Av

Los Angeles, CA 90005

(213) 807-1800

PACE – Los Angeles

Head Start/Early Head Start

1055 Wilshire Blvd Suite #1050

Los Angeles, CA 90017

(213) 989-3244

Volunteers of America, Overland

Head Start

3615 Overland Ave

Los Angeles CA, 90034

(310) 836-2340

The Children’s Place, Santa Monica

Head Start

235 Hill Street

Santa Monica, CA 90405

(310) 399-6405

Other Sliding Scale/Low Cost Options

West LA College Child Care Center

ages 2-5, offers tuition assistance

9000 Overland Avenue

Culver City, CA 90230

(310) 287-4357

The Growing Place

Non-profit; offers tuition assistance.

401 Ashland Ave

Santa Monica, CA 90405


Blue Oak Creative School House

2.5 yrs-5 yrs; private; scholarships available for eligible families.

12719 Washington Place

Los Angeles, CA 90066


Culver-Palms YMCA Preschool

Ages 2-5; offers tuition assistance up to 35% of tuition.

4464 S. Sepulveda Blvd

Culver City, CA 90230

Hill n’ Dale Family Learning Center

3 mos-5 years; tuition assistance for Santa Monica residents only.

2801 25th Street

Santa Monica, CA 90405


St. Sebastian Preschool (ages 2.5-4)

Tuition reduction available.

1430 Federal Avenue

Los Angeles, CA 90025

(310) 473-3337

St. Augustine Preschool (ages 2-3)

Financial assistance available.

3819 Clarington Ave.

Culver City, CA 90232

(310) 838-3144


You may have heard about LA Universal Preschool (LAUP). It guaranteed preschool to all four year olds regardless of family income. Unfortunately, the grant has run out, and the program no longer exists. :(

Private / Full-Cost* Programs

*Though the following options do not (to our knowledge) offer any financial assistance, etc., we’ve tried to include programs that are around or below average cost.)


Cooperative Schools are a great option, especially if you don’t need full-time care (they are often part-time) and are looking for schools with a high degree of parent involvement (your participation will be required). They usually begin around 2/2.5 years old. Though none of the options below offer financial assistance/scholarships/etc., all cost below average, as they are co-ops.

West Side:

La Playa Co-op Nursery School

5041 Rhoda Way

Culver City, CA  90230


Little Village Nursery School

11827 West Pico Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA  90064


University Parents Nursery School - UPNS

3233 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Suite 200

Los Angeles, CA  90034


Westchester Parents Nursery School - WPNS

7300 Manchester Ave.

Los Angeles, CA  90045


Beverly Glen Playgroup

10409 Scenario Lane

Los Angeles, CA 90077


Dig Childhood Center

(In the process of moving from its current location in Santa Monica to Grand View Blvd. (near the Mar Vista Farmer’s Market)

(310) 452-3885 x2

Affordable Activities


Annenberg Community Beach House

Quiet beach with playground, pool, splashpad and games room.  Pool and games room $10 for adults and $5 for kids plus parking. (Use of beach, playground, splashpad, and picnic tables is free.) Dollar Splash Mondays in the summer. Puddle jumper floaties are permitted for children (unlike most LA public pools) and you can rent these from the lifeguards, cost included in admission.
415 Pacific Coast Hwy

Santa Monica, CA 90402

Del Rey Lagoon Park

Playground, grills, basketball courts, baseball field; right next to the beach.

Playa Del Rey, CA 90293

Dockweiler State Beach
Bonfire pits on the beach. Free. First-come, first-serve, and usually go fast on summer weekends, so arrive early to reserve. Free kids arts and crafts Saturday mornings at the youth center. Also: great view of planes taking off from LAX! Park on the street for free; in the lot $3-$13/day.
12000 Vista del Mar
Playa Del Rey, CA 90293

Franklin Canyon Park
Great stroller-friendly loop trail around reservoir.
2600 Franklin Canyon Dr.

Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Huntington Library and Gardens

Huge, beautiful gardens in Pasadena, including a children’s garden, cafe, gallery and museum. $10-$25 admission, monthly free day (reserve online at 9am on the first day of the month for the following month’s free day; tickets sell out in minutes so be prompt.)

1151 Oxford Rd, San Marino, CA 91108 

Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area

Running trails, a lake and stream, several playgrounds, barbecue grills and picnic seating. Parking free during the week, pay at weekends. This is a great park: large, with a mix of more and less managed spaces that make it feel nicely removed from the city. Free weekdays, parking charge at weekends.

4100 South La Cienega Boulevard (Los Angeles, CA 90056) in Baldwin Hills. 

Malibu Lagoon State Beach

Free, option to pay for lot parking. Also known as Malibu Surfrider beach, a long right hand break = great surf spot. A good kids’ summer swimming spot: the reef means at low tide the water is calm and (in the summer) warm. Tide pools at low tide and the lagoon is full of bird life. Pay to park in the State Beach lot or free parking on Highway 1. NB the beach is a ten minute walk down a track from the parking lot, so plan ahead to haul small children and beach things. 

Mar Vista Rec

Free. Park with picnic tables and barbecues (under a lot of tree shade), outdoor gym equipment, playground, basketball court, baseball diamond and nets, and community center with classes. In the summer, an outdoor full sized public pool with youth swim classes.

Ocean Park Beach
Two nice children’s playgrounds on a short stretch of beach, bike path (and bike rental shops), beach (with clean bathrooms, showers and picnic tables). Short term parking $1/hr for 2 hours.

Main Street and Ocean Park, Santa Monica State Beach

Stoner Avenue Park and Recreation Center

Playground, skate pool, park with picnic areas and a public pool that is open in the summer ($10 summer swim pass available for children; this pass also admits an accompanying adult so is exceptional value)

1835 Stoner Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90025 

Tongva Park

Splash pad, playground and park opposite City Hall in Santa Monica, close to the pier. $5 all day parking in the parking lot down the street at the Santa Monica Courthouse on Main Street. 

Venice Beach

Playground, skate pool and outdoor gym equipment for adults (kids will love to watch the local acrobats on the rings and bars!) Note: the beach bathrooms here are horrible and local businesses will not let you use theirs, so come prepared.

1800 Ocean Front Walk, Venice, CA 90291 

Virginia Avenue Park

Free. Splash pad (summer only) and playground. Santa Monica public library on site (free to use and attend classes, non Santa Monica Residents must buy an annual membership for around $20 to become a member and borrow books). 


Zimmer Museum

Participates in ‘Museums for All’: EBT Card holders (CalFresh, CalWorks) get in free

Hammer Museum

Always free.

Fowler Museum

Free admission. Fun outdoor family events.

California African American Museum

Free after-school program (parents and kids), regular free family activities and programs (e.g. Martin Luther King Jr. Day festival)

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

‘NextGen’ membership; children under 18 and one accompanying adult get in free

Free jazz concerts in the summer (Friday evenings)

Natural History Museum

Regular free days. Take the expo line to avoid paying parking; if paying admission your metro fare is deducted from your tickets. 


YMCA (locations near UCLA include Westside, Culver-Palms, Santa Monica, Crenshaw, and Westchester)

Scholarships available for both memberships and classes.
Swimming lessons, dance, sports for kids (including basketball taught by LA Clippers players!). Winter and summer day camps.

Mar Vista Recreation Center

Dance, sport and art for kids, parent and me classes, and some programming for adults. Winter and Summer day camps, summer movie nights and seasonal events 

City of Santa Monica

A huge variety of programming for children and adults, including sports, art, music and dance. Cheaper than private classes but still moderately expensive; non Santa Monica residents pay a premium. 

Los Angeles Public Library

Storytimes, movie nights, computer classes, etc.

Other Cool Stuff

Skirball Cultural Center

Huge, interactive wooden ‘Noah’s Ark’ play structure and summer concert series. Free for EBT card holders and every Thursday


Public Social Services

‘CalWORKS’ (Welfare)

For eligibility for CalWORKS, visit:


‘CalFresh’ (Food Stamps)
To see if you are eligible for CalFresh, you will need to visit an LA Department of Public Social Services (LA DPSS) office and speak with a caseworker. Appointments are highly recommended (wait times are generally very long, often over 2 hours, even with an appointment). You can schedule an appointment online:
Here are the income and eligibility limits and maximum monthly allotments for 2016-2017:

Medi-Cal (California’s Medicaid program)

To see the income eligibility limits for Medi-Cal, go to:

To fill out an application, go to:

Created by Sarah Beach, with the support of the UCLA Philosophy Department, with help from other students and parents affiliated with UCLA, especially Jenna Donahue and Helena McDermott. Last updated March 2017.

For suggestions, corrections, or more info, email