This is a difficult time for all of us, but it is particularly hard for faculty parents of young children. We want to provide special support for these faculty who must balance the need to care for their young children at home while teaching online, all against the backdrop of regular care disruptions and the need for social distancing. We fully sympathize with the extra demands and stresses this puts upon faculty parents in this extraordinary and unprecedented situation.
We are now rolling out a temporary program to help support income-eligible faculty who incur back-up childcare expenses during this period of intense disruption due to COVID-19. Faculty who meet the criteria (described below) will now be eligible to receive up to $1,500 (before taxes) as reimbursement for back-up childcare expenses.
Due to the need for social distancing, we expect that these funds will be used primarily for in-home sitters. Only you can decide whether it is right for you and your family to bring a caregiver into your home. But if you decide to hire a sitter, these funds can be used to cover costs incurred with a caregiver of your choice, such as someone:
- in your personal network
- identified through Harvard’s own WATCH Portal (a searchable network that allows staff and faculty to sponsor their own high-school and college-age children as potential sitters)
- sourced through the Care@Work program (pre-registration required)
- sourced from the Care.com digital platform (free to Harvard employees after pre-registration)
We also want to acknowledge that real limitations may develop on the supply of caregivers, despite Care@Work’s efforts to build their pool. None of us can predict how the caregiver availability will fluctuate during this pandemic. That said, this emergency program is a resource to faculty parents who meet the following criteria:
- Be on a regular Harvard payroll and eligible for benefits, working at least half time
- Be in one of the following job titles/ranks:
|Associate Professor||000152, 000192|
|Assistant Professor||000202, 000263|
|Professor in Practice, Chaired, GSD||000035|
|Professor in Practice, GSD||000034|
|Associate Professor in Practice||000036|
|Assistant Professor in Practice||000037|
|Professor in Residence, Term||000041|
|Professor in Residence, Term Chaired||000042|
|Professor of Practice||000052|
|Professor of Practice, Chaired||000054|
|Clinical Professor of Law||000063|
|Assistant Clinical Professor of Law||000261|
|Professor, Visiting Assistant||000172|
|Professor, Visiting Associate||000182|
|Professor, Associate Chaired||000192|
|Associate Senior Lecturer||000393|
|Senior Preceptor (Faculty)||000741|
|Benjamin Peirce Lecturer||000045|
|Lecturer (Annual), Part-time||000321|
- Have at least one child under age 10
- Had in 2019 a gross household income of less than $200,000 as attested and signed on the claim form
- Must be teaching a formal course online or completing course-related work such as exam preparations and grading through the exam period during the coverage period of March 16 through May 30, 2020
- Attest that their usual childcare arrangements are no longer available because of COVID-19 disruptions (via the claim form)
How to Claim
To receive reimbursement, you and your caregiver must complete and sign the claim form. Please email this form together with any receipts to email@example.com. The reimbursement (after all required tax withholdings) will appear in the next possible paycheck after your submission. You can use multiple claim forms and submit as many times as needed.
Should the University conclude at a later date that the childcare arrangements supported by this program are no longer consistent with public health guidelines and safe practices, further commitments of these funds will come to a close (although we will certainly cover any eligible costs incurred before any policy change).
We know that nothing will entirely alleviate the stress of this situation, but we hope that this program may help defray some of the unexpected costs that faculty parents will encounter.