Backup Child Care

Your Backup Child Care benefit can help you find the right care, right when you need it

Backup Child Care, provided by Care@Work, can assist when normal child care arrangements are disrupted by school closings, vacations, provider illness, or a child's mild illness. You and your family have the following three Backup Child Care options:

  • In-Home Backup Child Care: Screened and trained caregivers provide care at your home, workplace, or other meeting place (see FAQs for more information)
  • In-Center Backup Child Care: Licensed centers, near home or work, provide care for children from ages 6-weeks to 12-years (see FAQs for more information)
  • Personal Network Backup Child Care (NEW): Source your own care provider (you are responsible for hiring and vetting) and receive reimbursement for up-to $100/day (see FAQs for more information)

Faculty, Staff, Postdocs, and Graduate Students

MIT faculty, staff, postdocs (associates and fellows), and graduate students*, can request up to 30 days of Backup Care per fiscal year (July 1 – June 30). Once you have registered with Care@Work, in-home care and personal network care are available 24-hours per-day, seven days per-week, and in-center care is available during business hours. Unused days will not carry forward into the new fiscal year.

*The Graduate Student Backup Care program is sponsored by the Office of Graduate Education and administered by the MIT Center for WorkLife and WellBeing.

Costs of care

Faculty, Staff, and Postdocs:
  • In-Home Backup Child Care: $16.00 per hour in Massachusetts (with a minimum of four hours per-day and maximum of eight hours per-day)
  • In-Center Backup Child Care: $35.00 per child, per day, in Massachusetts (no minimum or maximum number of hours per-day)
  • Personal Network Backup Child Care: Pay your personal caregiver up-front and receive reimbursement for up-to $100 per-day
Graduate Students:
  • In-Home Backup Child Care: $5.00 per hour in Massachusetts (with a minimum of four hours per-day and maximum of eight hours per-day)
  • In-Center Backup Child Care: $10.00 per-child, per-day, in Massachusetts (no minimum or maximum number of hours per-day)
  • Personal Network Backup Child Care: Pay your personal caregiver up-front and receive reimbursement for up-to $100 per-day

How to register

Faculty, Staff, and Postdocs: Visit mit.care.com and complete the enrollment form

Graduate Students: Visit mitstudents.care.com and complete the enrollment form

    How to request in-home and in-center backup child care

    To request care online:
    • Login to your account at mit.care.com (employees) or mitstudents.care.com (graduate students)
    • Select "I want to find care for my kids"
    • Select "I need backup care"
    • Click "book online"
    • Submit your information and request
    To request care by telephone:

    Call 866-228-2965 during the hours below

    • Monday – Thursday: 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. EST
    • Friday: 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. EST
    • Sunday: 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. EST

    How to request personal network reimbursement

    • Login to your account at mit.care.com (employees) or mitstudents.care.com (graduate students)
    • Select "Reimburse me for care"
    • Add your claim and upload your receipt
    • Once approved, you will receive reimbursement of up-to $100/day via check or direct deposit

    Important note regarding Care.com

    Care@Work, the business to business arm of Care.com, is a valued MIT vendor and has provided support and services that are important to MIT families juggling multiple responsibilities. These services include backup child and adult care. For MIT benefits, Care@Work uses care providers who are employees of Care.com or of either an approved employment agency or other vetted in-home care agencies. The backup child care centers go through rigorous and regular review. MIT does not provide support for the Care.com self-directed website search feature. If you do use the Care.com online self-directed search using your personal contact information, please be sure to refer to their Safety Center. tab to make sure you are informed about how to screen applicants and do reference and background checks on individual providers.

    You can also call MyLife Services, a free, confidential MIT benefit for faculty, staff, postdocs and their families - 844-405-5433 - to get help finding licensed childcare providers and agencies. Graduate families can call MIT Graduate Assistance and Information Network - MIT GAIN – 844-648-4246 - to get help finding licensed childcare providers and agencies.

    Please call the MIT Center for WorkLife and WellBeing if you have further questions or concerns: 617-253-1592.

    Have Questions?

    Get in touch with the MIT Center for WorkLife and WellBeing.