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 able to extend the 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) are eligible to receive up to $1,500 (before taxes) as reimbursement for back-up childcare expenses. Faculty who used the program in the Spring are still eligible for these additional funds.
Due to the ongoing 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
- sourced through the Care@Work program (pre-registration required)
- sourced from the Care.com digital platform (free to Harvard employees after pre-registration)
- sourced through the Student Employment Office (SEO) which pairs families and children with Harvard undergraduate students for virtual or in-person tutoring, babysitting, or other jobs
- sourced through Harvard Student Agencies which pairs families and children with Harvard students for tutoring services in person or online from anywhere in the world
Additional types of back-up care eligible for reimbursement include week-long summer day camp and fees for online classes.
We also want to acknowledge that real limitations may develop on the supply of caregivers, despite these services’ efforts to build their pools. 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, - Chaired||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|
|Senior Lecturer, - (Faculty)||000300, 000301|
|Associate Senior Lecturer||000393|
|Senior Preceptor (Faculty)||000741|
|Preceptor, - (Other Faculty)||000722, 000743|
|Professor, Multi-Year Adjunct||000044|
|Benjamin Peirce Lecturer||000045|
|Lecturer (Annual), Part-time||000321|
- Have at least one child age 10 or under
- Had in 2019 a gross household income of less than $200,000 as attested and signed on the claim form (adjusted for family size: $10K increases for additional children under 13 and/or single-parent households)
- Must be teaching a formal course online, mentoring students, or performing required departmental/school administrative duties during the coverage period of July 1 – December 31, 2020
- Attest that their usual childcare arrangements are no longer available or intermittently disrupted because of COVID-19 (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. The final deadline to claim from this program will be January 15, 2021.
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.