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Early Childhood Education Center

Early Care & Education is operating under guidelines for COVID-19. Please see Returning to Childcare during COVID-19.

Full-time care is available at the Early Childhood Education Center (ECEC) for children 3 months to 5 years old. The program is open to the children of full-time UC San Diego students, faculty and staff, as well as a limited number of non-UC San Diego affiliates. ECEC currently has 210 children enrolled.

Our open-classroom format allows children to learn by doing – they initiate their own activities and take responsibility for completing them. This ability serves as the foundation for the lifelong learning skills needed for personal, academic and professional success.

We offer four developmental programs based on an age-appropriate curriculum:

  • Young Infants (3–12 months)
  • Infants (11 months and walking to 24 months)
  • Toddlers ( 2 years)
  • Preschool (3–5 years)

ECEC is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the hallmark of a high-quality care and early education program.

Pay Tuition Online

You can pay monthly tuition online with a credit card using Single Sign-On. You will also need the invoice number and payment amount, shown on your monthly invoice. If you do not have your invoice, call our office at (858) 246-0900.

Pay Now

online payment

Hours/After Hours

ECEC operates weekdays, 7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. year round, excluding university holidays.

An after-hours program is offered weekdays, 5-6 p.m. The after-hours program is available to a limited number of children whose parents cannot pick them up before 5 p.m. Only children age 18 months and older are eligible.

  • After-hours care is provided between 5-6 p.m.
  • After-hours fee per child: $10/hour

Parents who do not pick up their children by 6 p.m. or indicated closing time will be fined $10 for every 10-minute increment past closing time.

In the rare event the after-hours program will be closed, parents will receive at least one week notice. On those days, parents who do not pick up their children by 5 p.m. will be fined $10 for every 10-minute increment past 5 p.m.


Monthly tuition fees include a nutritious morning and afternoon snack. Prices are slightly higher for non-UC San Diego affiliates. A family with more than one child enrolled will receive a 10% reduction on the younger child's tuition.

Developmental Program Monthly Tuition
Young Infants $1,997
Infants $1,922
Toddlers $1,677
Preschoolers $1,525

Tuition Assistance

Students may be eligible to receive tuition assistance for child care services through CCAMPIS.

Alternative Payment Plan

Centralized Eligibility List

These agencies fund the Centralized Eligibility List (CEL): Casa de Amparo, Chicano Federation, Child Development Associates, Inc., Easter Seals Southern California-Leucadia, Educational Enrichment Systems, Inc. and the YMCA Childcare Resource Service. Our local San Diego County CEL supports families in need of help paying for child care. In San Diego County, the YMCA Childcare Resource Service administers the CEL.

The San Diego County CEL allows subsidized child development agencies to find children who are eligible for their programs. CEL uses the term "eligibility" because families are ranked by eligibility factors such as income, family size and need.

San Diego County CEL:

  • Expands family opportunities to access subsidized care for qualifying programs by submitting one application to any participating child development provider
  • Collects family/child application data and maintains eligibility lists according to eligibility rules for state contracted programs
  • Maintains participating child development programs contact information
  • Allows agencies to pull from a wider group of eligible families so their programs remain funded and fully enrolled.

Get more information or complete an application.

How to Apply

Waiting Lists

All applications are filed by the date received. Each child is then placed on a waiting list for the appropriate age group. When a vacancy occurs, a child on the waiting list for that age group is offered a spot in that classroom.

  • If your child reaches the cutoff age while on the waiting list for a classroom, we will move your child to the next age-appropriate list. Your child’s application is integrated into this list according to the date we received your original application. Families of UC San Diego students, faculty, and staff with children concurrently enrolled at ECEC – and who do not receive subsidized care – receive priority enrollment. Children referred by Child Protective Services also receive priority on the subsidized care waiting list.
  • Parents or guardians must keep contact information current. If we are unable to reach you by phone or mail when an opening occurs, your child(ren) will be removed from the waiting list.
  • If you inquire about your child’s position on a waiting list, we can tell you only the estimated wait time for your child to be admitted.


Contact us, (858) 246-0900, 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. weekdays.