Spouse and Family Resources

The Graduate School recognizes that maintaining a balance between academic and family commitments is crucial to a graduate student’s well-being and success. These links lead to resources for spouses and families of graduate students, available at UF and in Alachua County.

Spousal privileges on campus often require a Spouse Gator 1 Card. To obtain one, spouses may need to provide a copy of their marriage certificate and pay a fee for the card. For more information on getting a Spouse Gator 1 Card, please contact the Gator 1 office.

UF Library Access

Spouses are eligible to use databases and book collections at any of UF’s Libraries. Spouses are eligible to borrow up to 10 books, and can keep them for three weeks. To gain access to the library system, please complete the Spouse/Partner request form.

Recreational Access

RecSports provides access to their facilities to spouses of students for a fee, which is now $60 per month. There is also a number of days throughout the year when RecSports provides free access for spouses to any RecSports facility. Facilities available to spouses include fitness and recreation centers, as well as those at Lake Wauberg.

Wellness and Relationship Care

The Counseling & Wellness Center provides counseling for couples, relationships and families in need of guidance. The Center also provides a comprehensive Community Provider Database, which allows students and spouses to search for health and wellbeing resources outside the UF community. There are also self-help resources available on their website.

PhDMoms and UF Student-Parents

PhDMoms is a graduate student organization that supports graduate students with families through academic, social and outreach activities. To join, or get more information, please visit the PhDMoms website or their UF Student-Parents Facebook page.

Graduate and Family Housing

The Office of Graduate and Family Housing, within Housing & Residence Education, a part of the Division of Student Affairs, holds group activities for families and children like yoga, zumba, welcome back breakfasts and other events throughout the year.

Healthcare/ Emergencies

In the event of an emergency for you or your family, please dial 911 on your phone. You will be asked to provide your address; an ambulance will be dispatched for life-threatening circumstances.

For student emergencies, there are two hospitals in Gainesville: UF Health Shands Hospital and North Florida Regional Medical Center. For non-emergencies, students can visit the Student Health Care Center at one of its four locations, or a private practice in the Alachua County area.

For urgent care, if you or a family member is unwell, but not in a life-threatening situation, contact an urgent care provider in Gainesville. The Student Health Care Center has a list of urgent care centers that accept the UF’s major medical insurance plans.

For students outside of Alachua County, your insurance plan may be accepted by a doctor in the state of Florida, but please verify this information prior to agreeing to any treatment.

If your minor child needs immediate emergency care, please dial 911 on your phone. For non-emergencies, there are several pediatric urgent care facilities covered by GatorCare. Please check with your child’s usual provider, and with your insurance company, to ensure that your insurance will be accepted. UF Health Shands Children's Hospital is rated as one of the top 50 pediatric hospitals in the United States by US News & World Report, and has a newly added Pediatric Emergency Room and UF Health Pediatrics After Hours.

Child Care (Infant to Preschool)

On-campus: Families can apply for child care through UF’s three BabyGator early childhood centers, for children ages six weeks through four years old. Their facilities are nationally accredited for early childhood care, and can provide full-time care for children.

Off-campus: Infant and toddler childcare is available through a wide variety of private providers throughout Alachua County. An unofficial list can be found at Fun4GatorKids.com.

For children of preschool age (four years old by September 1), the state of Florida provides a search engine of Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten (VPK) Providers across the state. The site furnishes a Readiness Rate, based on the ability of the provider to prepare VPK students for kindergarten. A number of providers also offer infant and toddler childcare. In addition, the Alachua County Public School system has a number of Pre-Kindergarten programs.

The Early Learning Coalition of Alachua County (ELC) supplies valuable information about early childcare resources, particularly for the Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten program (VPK). ELC also approves childcare providers for VPK.

School Information

Children are required to attend school starting at age five (unless religious or other select exemptions are made). Three options are available for schooling: public school, private school and home schooling.


Children can receive free public education throughout Gainesville and Alachua County, based on the zone in which they live. Click here for a zoning map that tells you where students attend school, as determined by their home address: School Zone Map. Children also have the option of attending public charter schools. If you have questions about the school system, please contact the Alachua County Public School system.


Most children attend public schools in Alachua County, but there are also a variety of charter, private or experimental schools that children can attend. Private schools vary by curriculum and cost, while public and charter schools are free to attend. For an unofficial list of private schools in Gainesville, please visit GreatSchools.

Home School

For students who are interested in the option to instruct their children at home, the Home School Office of the Alachua County School Board can help.

For more information, please call (352) 955-7608.

Public Library System

The Alachua County Library District (ACLIB) has 12 locations in the county and holds events throughout the year for children of all ages. Please check the ACLIB event calendar for more information.


The Harn Museum of Art hosts a monthly workshop, Tot Time, for children ages two to five, plus periodic events for high school students. The Florida Museum of Natural History has interactive exhibits for all ages, Butterfly Rainforest and camps for children in grades K-5.

Community Activities

For activities in Gainesville and Alachua County, Fun4GatorKids lists opportunities and services in the area. Gainesville Moms is another site for activities and information about childcare and activity resources near UF.

Online Resource: Solutions for Your Life

UF’s IFAS Extension offices also offer a wealth of resources through their Solutions for Your Life website. There are online articles and references for outside sources on issues related to child development, caregiving, relationships and communication, premarital preparation, parenting styles and more.