New, Larger, Laurel Heights Child Development Center Opens

By Robert Hood on December 03, 2019

Marco Sanchez, UCSF Documents & Media

A new UC San Francisco child care center opened on Dec. 2, replacing UCSF’s University Child Care Center at Laurel Heights. The new location is at the crow’s nest, atop the City Center Shopping Complex at 2675 Geary Blvd. The expanded center offers 170 spaces for UCSF children, 54 more spaces than the Laurel Heights center.

With this expansion, UCSF supports the largest child care program in the UC system, with 559 child care spaces for children of employees and students at four child care centers. In 2018, UCSF also opened a new child care center on the Mission Bay Campus. The center – with a capacity of 272 children – is the largest child care center in San Francisco. 

“The expansion at the City Center location fulfills requests from the UCSF Academic Senate on Faculty Welfare, UCSF parents of children at the current Laurel Heights center, and UCSF parents in general who advocated for the university to increase the capacity of campus child care,” explains Laura Ishkanian, associate director of UCSF Family Services.

With the net gain of child care spaces at City Center, UCSF will increase supply to better meet the high demand of the UCSF community, especially on the west side of San Francisco where there are few options for licensed, center-based child care.

Lindsay Hampson, a UCSF assistant professor in the Department of Urology and a member of UCSF’s Committee on Faculty Welfare and UCSF’s Committee on Family Services, expressed her support for the new center and expanded child care in general.

“We are thrilled that UCSF leadership has committed to this long-term replacement for the Laurel Heights center and that it means more child care will be available, as this is critical for the recruitment and retention of excellent faculty, staff, trainees and students.”

The new center is located approximately a half-mile from the UCSF’s Laurel Heights Campus. It is UCSF’s first near-site child care center, augmenting UCSF’s centers at Parnassus and Mission Bay. “The new center is close to the existing Laurel Heights facility and also relatively close to our Mt. Zion and Parnassus campuses. We know that many of the parents who utilize the current Laurel Heights facility find this part of San Francisco conveniently close to home and/or work,” said Ishkanian.

Leadership’s commitment to expanding child care at UCSF is demonstrated by the University’s $7 million investment in the cost for constructing the new center, an investment shared equally by funds from the Campus Core, UCSF Health, and School of Medicine. The three areas will also support occupancy and operational costs during the term of the 15-year lease. 

As part of the Comprehensive Parnassus Heights Plan (CPHP), the long-term goal is to provide a permanent and substantial child care solution at Parnassus. The 15-year lease at the City Center location plus the two current child care sites at Parnassus will provide supply on and near Parnassus while CPHP plans solidify.

Bright Horizons, which operates UCSF’s current onsite child care centers, will also operate the new facility. “UCSF is delighted that the outstanding teachers and staff from the Laurel Heights center have transitioned in full to the City Center location, offering currently enrolled children continuity in care,” Ishkanian explained. 

All of UCSF’s child care sites, including the new center, offer tuition rates approximately 15 percent below tuition rates charged by other licensed child care centers in the market.

UCSF faculty, staff, trainees and students who are interested in enrollment opportunities for their children should submit the child care wait pool application (or contact the center to update their existing application). The UCSF child care centers serve children between the ages of two months and five years old.