Although parenting is an activity shared by people in every country town and village on the planet, there is little agreement about how to raise children. Yet parenting practices around the world share three major goals: ensuring children's health and safety, preparing children for life as productive adults and transmitting cultural values.

The resources provided here can help parents find information to meet those three goals. Links are provided to help parents find care for very young children, after school or summer programs for school age children, and great low or no cost options for activities the whole family can do together.

Child care

University of Nevada, Reno Child and Family Research Center

The CFRC provides early care and education for children from 6 weeks old through first grade. The center is open Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Parents who are university students, staff or faculty have enrollment priority.

Tuition is calculated using a sliding fee scale based on family household income.

The program is accredited by the NAEYC Academy for Early Childhood Program Accreditation. For application or information contact the office manager at (775) 784-6762.

University of Nevada, Reno Early Head Start is a comprehensive child development program serving very low-income families with children birth to age 3 and pregnant women. Center and home based programs options are available to income qualifying families. Contact the EHS Family Support Specialist at (775) 327-5100.

Campus Child Care Connections provides child care resource and referral information to university students, staff, and faculty members. In addition, CCCC staff provides training and technical assistance to local family child care providers who meet network criteria for childcare quality. Contact the office at (775) 784-4400.

The Children's Cabinet

The Cabinet provides child care resource and referral information that supports families in raising healthy children; assists parents in managing day-to-day parenting stress, and encourages their involvement as their child's first teacher. Parents can access research-based consumer information to assist them in selecting quality child care. The Cabinet also administers a financial assistance program for income eligible parents who are working or seeking employment.

Washoe County Child Care Services

This agency is responsible for regulating and monitoring the temporary care provided to children in child care centers or family child care homes. The laws and regulations set by the State and the County are used to insure a minimum level of care is provided to children in order to maintain and facilitate their normal development, health, safety, and welfare.

For more information, contact the Child Care Licensing Unit at (775) 337-4470, or by email at

Child Care Inspection Web Portal

This website can be used to search the public record of a licensed provider or facility. The most recent licensing inspections can be viewed here.

Programs for school-age children

Washoe County School District

The Washoe County School District (WCSD) administers public schools in the Reno/Sparks metropolitan area, Incline Village, Gerlach, Empire and Wadsworth. There are 63 elementary schools, a special education school, 14 middle schools and 13 comprehensive high schools. The website provides detailed information for parents of school age children about individual schools, zoning, schedules, and registration.

University of Nevada, Reno College of Education Early Learning Center

The Early Learning Center serves as a model classroom in the Washoe County School District and for the learning community in the College of Education. The Early Learning Center models multi-year, multi-age (grades 1-3) educational experiences and developmental and integrated instruction. Details about the calendar the enrollment process can be found on the website.

University of Nevada, Reno Extended Studies KIDS University, Nevada Wolf Pack Sports Camps, and Lake Tahoe Music Camp

  • KIDS University offers more than 60 themed activity programs in science, art and more for children in grades 2-8, offered in weekly sessions during June-August each summer. Online registration begins in March and is available through late July for weekly half-day and full-day programs. Early registration is encouraged.
  • Nevada Wolf Pack Sports Camps provide boys and girls of all ages and abilities an opportunity to join Wolf Pack coaches and players for full-day, half-day and overnight camps including baseball, basketball, golf, football, soccer, softball, track and volleyball.
  • University of Nevada, Reno Lake Tahoe Music Camp provides a fun-filled week of music each summer for musicians entering grades 6-12 - rehearsals, concerts and clinics - and activities at Lake Tahoe.

University of Nevada Cooperative 4-H Youth Development

4-H participants are all youth, ages 5 to 19 learning leadership, citizenship and life skills planned and initiated by Cooperative Extension personnel in cooperation with volunteers. What began a century ago as an educational program for the nation's rural youth today meets needs of and engages young people in positive youth development experiences. 4-H is the youth development education program of University of Nevada Cooperative Extension.

University of Nevada, Reno Smallwood Multimedia Boot Camp

High school juniors will be accepted to the Multimedia Boot Camps based on nomination and recommendation of a teacher or school administrator. The two-week Multimedia Summer Boot Camp will offer rigorous instruction by University of Nevada, Reno Library and Information Technology faculty and staff in a wide range of media and research activities. The camp will make use of the full range of multimedia equipment and software provided in the Knowledge Center's @One, including the use of state-of-the-art media facilities. Students will receive concentrated instruction in audio, video, and media editing skills using Final Cut Pro, Flash, iMovie, Camtasia, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe After Effects.

City of Reno Sierra Kids Before and After-School Program

Sierra Kids is a recreational enrichment program for children who need a safe, supervised environment before and after school. Sierra Kids operates according to the Washoe County School District schedule in some elementary schools. See the website for locations, program and pricing information.

City of Reno Vacation Station

Vacation Station operates during some school track breaks, summer vacation and the winter and spring holidays. Students ages 6-14 participate in sports, swimming, arts and crafts, movies, and more. Summer and WCSD Break weeks include field trips as well. Vacation Station is a CHARACTER COUNTS! Gold Medal Activity Center! Located at the Evelyn Mount Northeast Community Center, 1301 Valley Road. Hours are 7 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Parent education and support

Support of Breastfeeding Employees at the University

Locate spaces for for breastfeeding mothers to nurse or pump at the University. 

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Publications on Children, Youth and Families

284 publications on many topics of interest to parents including healthy snacks, stress in children, bullying.

Just In Time Newsletters

Age-paced newsletters that can be downloaded and printed and are geared toward the age of your child ages birth to 5. Also access to Parenting 24/7 website for parenting information about children aged 6-12 and teens.

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Resources and Links

Resources on diverse topics from health and nutrition to agriculture and natural resources.

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Children, Youth and Families Programs

Access to a wide array of information about programs that are developed and provided by UNCE for children, youth and families including Family Storyteller and Anger Management for Parents.

Fun Things to Do with Your Family


Artown is a month-long summer arts festival that features about 400 visual and performing arts events produced by more than 100 organizations and businesses in nearly 100 locations citywide. Most events are free or very low cost.

City of Reno Aquatics and Pools

Swim lessons following the American Red Cross Learn to Swim program for age and skill-appropriate classes are available for students 6 months and older. Ask about private swim lessons too. Lessons are held year-round at Northwest Pool and Evelyn Mount Northeast Community Center. Water fitness classes, kayaking, and lifeguard instructor classes are also available.

The Discovery Museum

If your children enjoy art, science, history or invention, The Discovery's classes and programs are a great opportunity to learn and explore! From cupcake decorating to DNA extraction, the museum's family classes, open programming, visiting scientists and special events have something to offer for everyone. See this site for a complete listing of upcoming classes and programs.

University of Nevada, Reno Fleischmann Planetarium

In addition to a full dome digital star show, the museum contains changing hands-on interactive displays, as well as permanent exhibits including large-scale rotating Earth and moon globes, a black hole demonstrator, dozens of meteorites and more. Preschool activities, field trips and birthday parties are just some of the special events the Planetarium can host.

Galena Creek Recreation Area

Campfire programs, ranger-led hikes, and exhibits in the old stone visitor's center are available at the park. The park offers fishing at Marilyn's Pond and an outdoor education camp. Call the ranger office at (775) 849-2511 for more park information. Call the Parks Administration office at (775) 823-6501 for building and picnic pavilion reservations.

Nevada Museum of Art

Families can discover and enjoy art from around the world by visiting the Museum's rotating exhibitions, or investigate art relating to environments, the research library, or Center for Art + Environment.

See the online calendar for details about the arts education programming for the public, school-aged youth, teachers, and artists. Programs are available for toddlers, children and teens adult.