Backup Child Care

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

This benefit is intended to be used for backup child care purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for routine child care arrangements that are disrupted or closed due to COVID-19 (e.g., child care centers, in-home child care providers, summer camp, school, or afterschool care).

You and your family have the following options for backup child care:

  • In-Home Backup Child Care: Care@Work's screened and trained caregivers provide backup child care at your home (see FAQs for more information)
  • In-Center Backup Child Care: Care@Work's 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: Source your own in-home backup child care provider (you are responsible for hiring and vetting) and receive reimbursement for a portion of the cost (see FAQs below 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 child care per fiscal year (July 1 – June 30). Once you have registered with Care@Work, in-home backup child care and personal network backup child care are available 24-hours per-day, seven days per-week, and in-center backup child 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 backup 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 backup 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 back up care 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

    Personal Network FAQs

    Question: How many times can I use the personal network backup child care benefit?

    Answer: Benefits-eligible faculty, staff, and postdocs (including postdoc associates and postdoc fellows), may request up-to 30 days of backup care per fiscal year (renews on July 1). Personal network backup child care is included in this total – that is, each reimbursement counts towards one day of your total backup care allotment. If you are interested in checking your backup care balance:

    • Login to your account at mit.care.com (employees) or mitstudents.care.com (graduate students)
    • Select “My kids”
    • Select “I need backup care”
    • Select “Book online”
    • You will be redirected to your dashboard, which shows your total number of days allocated, days used, and days remaining

     

    Question: What type of care does the personal network backup child care benefit cover?

    Answer: This benefit is intended to be used for backup child care purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for routine child care arrangements that are disrupted or closed due to COVID-19 (e.g., child care centers, in-home child care providers, summer camp, school, or afterschool care).

     

    Question: Who qualifies as a personal network backup caregiver?

    Answer: Anyone that you feel comfortable with. You are responsible for hiring and vetting your own personal network backup caregiver. This may include neighbors, grandparents, caregivers hired from the Care.com website, etc. Parents cannot be reimbursed for caring for their own children.

     

    Question: What should I pay my personal network backup caregiver?

    Answer: You and your personal network backup caregiver are responsible for determining rates and form of payment for care provided.

     

    Question: How does the $100/day reimbursement work?

    Answer: You may reimbursement for a maximum of $100/day of personal network backup child care.

    Example: Your backup caregiver's rate is $15/hour

    • You submit a claim for four (4) hours of care ($60 total) - you will be reimbursed $60 for that day
    • You submit a claim for eight (8) hours of care ($120 total) - you will be reimbursed $100 for that day

     

    Question: How should I pay my personal network backup caregiver?

    Answer: You and your personal network backup caregiver are responsible for determining rates and form of payment for care provided. If your backup caregiver does not regularly provide you with a receipt of payment and services, use the Care.com receipt template for your reimbursement claims.

     

    Question: How will I be reimbursed?

    Answer: You may choose to receive reimbursement via direct deposit or check.

     

    Question: How long will it take me to get my reimbursement?

    Answer: You will need to provide your bank account information to get reimbursed via direct deposit. If you would prefer, Care@Work can mail you a check. It can take up to 10 business days after processing your claim to receive your reimbursement.

     

    Question: What if something changes after I've submitted a claim?

    Answer: You can edit or delete your claim at any time before it has been approved for payment. Login to your Care@Work account, and select “My Kids” then “Reimburse Me For Backup Care” then “View Claims.” Select “Edit” next to the claim you want to change or delete. If you delete a claim, the Backup Care day will be added back to your account, to be used at a later date.

     

    Question: Can I request personal network reimbursement retroactively?

    Answer: The personal network backup child care benefit launched at MIT on May 12, 2020. Employees may request reimbursement for this date and onward, so long as claims are submitted within 30 days after care has taken place.

    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.