Parental leave and childcare resources

at Washington University in St. Louis

Updated: 5-12-2022

Disclaimer:  DBBS Women in STEM has put together this quick reference sheet regarding parental leave and childcare resources at Washington University. We hope it will be helpful; however, we cannot be responsible for the accuracy of the content or its applicability to your specific situation. Please be sure to reach out to your departmental and/or program staff to ensure access to the resources available to you as a new or prospective parent.

Parental leave

Graduate students

Up to 8 weeks / 60 calendar days paid leave for either parent. Additional unpaid leave up to a full semester is typically available with departmental approval. Longer leaves should be requested via a leave of absence rather than new child leave.


Up to 8 weeks paid leave for either parent. Eligible for leave after 12 months of service, although leave may be granted earlier with your supervisor’s approval. Additional leave may be available through paid sick time, paid vacation time, and/or unpaid FMLA leave. Leave policy applies to both postdoctoral research associates (employees) and postdoctoral research scholars (paid by external fellowships) unless the external funding agency requires different leave policies. Note that current NIH policy for NRSA fellows allows for up to 8 weeks of paid leave and is therefore not in conflict with Washington University policy.


The Washington University Family Learning Center serves the children of Washington University students, faculty, and staff (including postdocs).

Subsidized back-up care is also available.

The St. Louis Children’s Hospital Child Development Centers serve the children of Washington University School of Medicine employees. However, hospital employees are prioritized over Washington University employees, and the wait list is typically quite long.

Washington University employs a Child and Family Care Facilitator to support faculty and staff.

Childcare subsidy

Graduate students

A Child Day Care Subsidy is available for graduate students with young children (5 or younger) or children with special needs (under age 19). Applications are due August 1 each year.

Lactation rooms

Dedicated lactation rooms are available. You may need to register for access to some of the lactation room locations on Danforth campus, as described in the following document.

You will need to register for access to lactation rooms on the medical school campus. Even if you plan on using a private office or other space, please register for the Lactation Room Program to receive pertinent information and to document the need for these resources.

Lactation Room Location

Lactation Room Registration