Three main types of child care settings:

Family Child Care Home

Care offered in the home of the provider, who is often a parent. The number of children a family child care provider can care for depends on the ages of the children and whether or not there is an assistant or a second provider. Family child care providers often care for children of different ages, and are licensed by the State.

Child Care Center

A facility that can provide care for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and school-age children all or part of the day. Although generally larger than family child care homes, centers may be large or small and can be operated independently or by a church or other organization. Child care centers are sometimes called "nursery schools" or "preschools". Child care centers are licensed by the State.

License-Exempt Care

Care provided by a friend, relative, neighbor, babysitter, or nanny in the child or adult's home. This care is not licensed, but in-home care providers can register with TrustLine, California's criminal background check for license-exempt providers.

Choosing Childcare

Campus & Community Childcare Options

The Orfalea Family Children's Center and the University Children's Center provide child care for student, staff, and faculty families within the University community. The Centers provide child care for children aged 3 months through 5 years.

UCSB Recreation Center Youth Programs

We are excited to announce that we have received University approval to once again offer our safe, engaging, and fully outdoor beach and aquatic programs. We are confident in our ability to offer the UCSB Surf & Kayak Camp, Campus Pt. Junior Lifeguard Program and youth swim lessons following all safety protocols and still providing children with the summer enjoyment and activities they so desperately need.

Surf & Kayak Camp and Junior Lifeguards:
Registration open to all.

Youth Swim Lessons:
Registration open to children of UCSB students, staff and faculty ONLY.

As of June 21, face coverings are still required of all visitors to campus.

Children's Resource & Referral Program

This local non-profit offers childcare assistance, search databases, tips for finding appropriate childcare options, and family referral services, with a special emphasis on low income and under-represented children and families.

Bright Horizons Backup Care and Additional Family Supports



Now offering additional family and education benefits to help support all UCSB employees eligible for Core Benefits and above (including PostDocs), and your families when you need it most. Explore the program below:

  • Back-Up Child, Adult, and Elder Care: Don’t stress about school breaks, bad weather, or when your elder loved one is recovering from surgery. Reserve high-quality child care in a center, or in-home care for your child, adult, or elder relatives.*
  • Nanny Placement Services: Receive high-touch local support finding a vetted full-time nanny, with substantial savings.
  • Preferred enrollment at Bright Horizons centers. Access tuition discounts at participating network child care centers.
  • Search for Sitters, Nannies & Housekeepers: Find caregivers and housekeepers near you with a free premium membership to Sittercity.
  • Find Elder Care Resources through Years Ahead: Access a needs assessment, resource library, and search tools to find elder caregivers and facilities.
  • Get Quality Pet Care: Find experienced pet sitters, dog walkers and more.
  • Help with Tutoring & Test Prep: Get cost-saving discounts on highly-ranking tutoring services for your family.
  • Family Webinars: Access expert-led events throughout the year. All webinars are available on-demand after the live event date.

Register for free Now: using your UCSB NetID

How to Use Back-Up Care


  1. Visit, and select “JOIN TODAY”. Enter basic information to verify eligibility including NetID number.
  2. If searching for “back-up care” through a browser or using the mobile app enter the below credentials:
    • Employer Username: UCSB
    • Employer Password: Benefits4You

Note: If your benefit eligibility cannot be confirmed, you can still register by calling 877-BH-CARES and your personal username and password will be delayed until confirmation is received from your employer.


On the home page, click on the blue “Create Your Care Profile” button and follow these steps:

  1. Fill Out Your Employee Profile: Provide your relevant contact and employment information.
  2. Add Care Recipients: Enter your relationship, care location(s), and health information, and download/complete any required care forms.
  3. Enable Authorized Contacts: Add any adults (e.g., spouse/partner, grandparent, or friend) as an emergency contact and/or authorized to pick up care recipients.
  4. Enter Care Locations: Let us know where you will typically need care.


UC Santa Barbara can access up to 10 annual days of back-up care annually at subsidized rates. Center-based care is $15 per child/day or $25 per family/day. In-home care for children and adults is $6 per hour. Reservations for back-up care can be made:

  1. Online: Visit Once you have completed your care profile, visit the home page and click on the blue “Make My First Reservation” button.
  2. By Phone: Call 877-BH-CARES (242-2737) to speak with a care consultant 24/7.
  3. Via Mobile App: If you’re fully registered and have used care once before, search “Back-Up Care” in the App Store or Google Play and download the app to reserve care on the go.

Once care is reserved, you will receive a confirmation email. You may also indicate in your care profile that you’d like to receive care confirmations via phone.

United Boys & Girls Club

Year-round youth programs, holiday and summer day camps.

United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County (UBGC) is a non-profit youth development agency and serves children ages 5-18 years old, from 10 locations across Santa Barbara County. Some of the many programs offered are:

  • Power Hour
  • Summer Spectacular- Nine week summer camp
  • College Bound
  • Chess Club
  • Youth of the Year
  • Keystone Club
  • Torch Club
  • Club 105
  • Teen Late Night
  • Smart Journeys- Healthy Habits
  • SMART Girls
  • Passport to Manhood
  • Zero Hunger Meal Program
  • Culinary Arts for Teens
  • Roots to Shoots Gardening
  • Notes for Notes
  • Ceramics, Pottery and Specialized Art Programs
  • Dance and Movement
  • Film Camp
  • Sports Leagues- Basketball, Soccer, and Flag Football
  • Triple Play/Smart Journeys: A Game Plan for Mind, Body and Soul
  • Golf- SNAG and First Tee

DepCare FSA

Pretax account for dependent care expenses

If you are employed​ as faculty, staff, or an Academic Student Employee (i.e. Teaching Assistant, Teaching Associate, Reader, Tutor) or a Graduate Student Researcher, you are eligible to enroll in a flexible spending account (FSA) for dependent care expenses. The DepCare FSA allows you to pay for eligible expenses for care of your child or eligible adult dependent on a pretax basis. As a result, your salary is reduced before taxes are assessed, and you pay less in taxes.

Channel Islands YMCA

Santa Barbara Regional YMCAs Child care and after school care

Girls Inc of Greater Santa Barbara

After school care and day camps; Teen and gymnastics programs.


Licensed childcare providers that are currently open including location, health and safety details, ages of children served, capacity, and hours of care. provides an interactive map of qualified licensed childcare providers near you. The tool is available in English and Spanish. Q&As available at