Backup Child Care

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

Backup Child Care providers can assist when your routine child care arrangements are disrupted and:

  • You need to work late or on weekends
  • You have a gap in your routine child care arrangements (such as a holiday)
  • Your routine care provider is ill
  • Your children are mildly ill
  • Your are traveling for MIT and your children accompany you

Benefits-eligible MIT faculty, staff, and postdocs (associates and fellows), can use up to 15 days of Backup Care (combined Child and Adult/Senior Care) per fiscal year. Eligible MIT graduate students can use up to 15 days of Backup Child Care per fiscal year. Requests for Backup Child Care must be work-related. You and your family have the following options for Backup Child Care:

  • In-Home Backup Child Care *: Care.com's screened and trained caregivers are available to provide care 24-hours per day, seven days per week
  • In-Center Backup Child Care: Care.com's licensed centers, near home or work, provide care during business hours for children from ages 6-weeks to 12-years (Please note that due to COVID-19, many centers may not be available for Backup Care)

* If Care.com is unable to fill your In-Home Backup Child Care request, you may source a caregiver from your personal network (you are responsible for hiring, vetting, and negotiating rates) and receive reimbursement for part of the cost. Personal Network Backup Child Care is available only in the event that Care.com is unable to fill your request for In-Home Backup Child Care.

Costs of care

Faculty, Staff, and Postdocs (NEW more affordable rates):
  • In-Home Backup Child Care *: $8.00 per hour in Massachusetts (with a minimum of 4 hours per day and maximum of 10 hours per day)
  • In-Center Backup Child Care: $15.00 per child, per day, in Massachusetts (no minimum or maximum number of hours per day) - Please note that due to COVID-19, many centers may not be available for Backup Care
Graduate Students:

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

  • In-Home Backup Child Care *: $5.00 per hour in Massachusetts (with a minimum of 4 hours per day and maximum of 10 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) - Please note that due to COVID-19, many centers may not be available for Backup Care

* If Care.com is unable to fill your In-Home Backup Child Care request, you may source a caregiver from your personal network (you are responsible for hiring, vetting, and negotiating rates) and receive reimbursement for part of the cost. Personal Network Backup Child Care is available only in the event that Care.com is unable to fill your request for In-Home Backup Child Care.

Registering for care

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

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

    Requesting care

    NOTE: You must register with Care.com prior to requesting 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

    Important information regarding Care.com

    Care.com, 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/Senior Care. For In-Home Backup Care, Care.com uses screened and trained care providers. Care.com Backup Child Care Centers are licensed and undergo 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 email the MIT Center for WorkLife and WellBeing if you have further questions or concerns at worklife@mit.edu or call us at 617-253-1592.

    Backup Child Care FAQs

    Benefit Information FAQs

    Question: Is there a limit to how many times I can use my Backup Child Care benefit?

    Answer: Benefits-eligible faculty, staff, and postdocs (including postdoc associates and postdoc fellows), may use up-to 15 days of Backup Care (combined Child and Adult/Senior Care) per fiscal year. Eligible graduate students may use up-to 15 days of Backup Child Care per fiscal year. Each Backup Care occurrence counts as a "day" of care, taken from your annual balance. Unused days do not carry forward into the new fiscal year.

    To view your Backup Care balance:

    • 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”
    • 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. Families have the following options when requesting Backup Child Care:

    • In-Home Backup Child Care *: Care.com's screened and trained caregivers are available to provide care 24-hours per day, seven days per week
    • In-Center Backup Child Care: Care.com's licensed centers, near home or work, provide care during business hours for children from ages 6-weeks to 12-years (Please note that due to COVID-19, many centers may not be available for Backup Care)

    * If Care.com is unable to fill your In-Home Backup Child Care request, you may source a caregiver from your personal network (you are responsible for hiring, vetting, and negotiating rates) and receive reimbursement for part of the cost (see Personal Network FAQs below for details).

     

    Question: How do I know I'll be receiving quality care?

    Answer: Care.com screens In-Home Backup Child Care providers for child care experience; checks child care references by phone; verifies Social Security numbers; conducts criminal background checks; and interviews each candidate. All candidates are required to complete health and safety training. In-Center Backup Child Care providers are trained in child development, early childhood education, or a related field.

     

    Registration FAQs

    Question: I'm getting an error message when I try to register at mit.care.com (employees) or mitstudents.care.com (graduate students). What should I do?

    Answer: This is likely due to a Care.com system bug. Please email backupcare@care.com or call 866.228.2965 (x1) to first troubleshoot. If Care.com informs you that the issue is eligibility-related, please email worklife@mit.edu.

     

    Question: When should I register for my Care.com account?

    Answer: We recommend that you register for your Care.com account as soon as possible, so as to expedite the request process and avoid any issues when care is needed. We also recommend that you request care as early in advance as possible.

     

    Question: When should I request care?

    Answer: We recommend that you request care as early in advance as possible. In-Home Backup Child Care providers can often be located within 2 hours. Please allow 48 hours for In-Center Backup Child Care. More advanced notice increases the chances of a successful match.

    Personal Network FAQs

    Question: Care.com was unable to fill my request for In-Home Backup Child Care. What other options do I have?

    Answer: If Care.com is unable to fill your In-Home Backup Child Care request, you may source a caregiver from your personal network (you are responsible for hiring, vetting, and negotiating rates) and receive reimbursement for up to $100 per day (after the $8/hour Backup Care co-pay is deducted). Contact Care.com Backup Care at 866-228-2965 for more information.

    Have Questions?

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