Child and Family Resources
Northwestern supports the healthy integration of students’ personal, academic, and professional priorities and is committed to creating an accessible and inclusive environment for pregnant and parenting students.The Graduate School (TGS) provides a variety of resources and information as well as a dedicated Family Resource liaison for individual work/life consultations.
Family leave information
- Parental Accommodation Policy: TGS provides 12 weeks of parental accommodation for students of all gender identities and gender expressions who become new parents (whether by childbirth or adoption). Funding may continue (for funded students) and TGS milestone deadlines will be extended (for all parents). This policy is separate from any student absences that are medically necessary due to pregnancy or childbirth.
- Family Medical Leave of Absence: For students who must temporarily interrupt progress toward degree to extend absence post-childbirth, care for a newborn, adopt a child, or care for a family member. This may be taken in addition to the parental accommodation.
The University offers the following resources for parents seeking information on childcare.
- Childcare Resources: Learn about area childcare centers, community resources, and free childcare referral services
- Care.com for Northwestern Graduate Students: Find babysitters, nannies, pet sitters, and more
- Back-up Care: For when your regular child care is unavailable
- Summer Camps: For school-age children
Financial assistance for childcare:
- TGS Graduate Student Childcare Grant: Portable childcare grants for eligible graduate students for day care or an in-home provider
- Fee Assistance: Discounted tuition on a sliding scale at four area childcare centers. Cannot be used with the TGS Graduate Student Childcare Grant.
- TGS Dependent Care Grants: Taxable funds to assist PhD and MFA students with dependents so that they may participate in professional development meetings and opportunities including research-related travel.
The University offers students the option of enrolling dependents in the student health insurance plan. Learn more on the Student Health Insurance website. Please note that you may now pay for dependent coverage up front or on a quarterly basis. For additional information, please go to Aetna's Dependent Enrollment page, enter your Student ID and date of birth, and then click on "View Plan Details" (and scroll down) to review the quarterly payment schedule. Please select an option via the drop down box on the Aetna payment page.
The All Kids program provides comprehensive, affordable health insurance to Illinois children whose families cannot afford private health insurance. All Kids also offers two health insurance programs for pregnant women. Parents who meet certain income requirements may have access to coverage through Illinois FamilyCare Health Insurance.
Providing a family-friendly environment for faculty, staff and students is important at Northwestern. Read about Lactation Support on the human resources website.
View lactation resources and maps of lactation rooms for Evanston and Chicago.
There are many housing options available to students both on and off-campus. TGS is also working with Graduate Housing to offer priority applications for students who are parents at the Garrett Place Apartments.The Office of Work/Life and Family Resources is happy to help you find schools, pet care, community information and other area family resources.