Campus launches back-up care program

To: UCSC Community

From: Lori Kletzer Campus Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor; Sarah Latham Vice Chancellor, Business and Administrative Services

We are delighted to announce that the new UC Santa Cruz subsidized back-up care program for employees and students is now officially up and running.

Back-up care — both child care and elder care — was identified as an urgent need in a 2020 campus Family Services Workgroup survey of employees and students. The COVID-19 pandemic has also highlighted the importance of having this crucial support structure in place. The benefit is obvious. It relieves stress on caregiving employees and students in the event of an unexpected care emergency, giving them peace of mind that their loved ones will be safe and properly cared for while the employee or student is at work or school. This is critical to both student and employee success.

Bright Horizons is operating the program, and has created a network of in-home care providers and child-care centers across the region that UCSC employees and students can utilize.

Each eligible employee and student who registers for the program will be allotted 15 uses per year. Employees and students will be responsible for a copay per use, and the campus will cover the rest of the cost. The copay per use for employees will be $10 per child, or $15 per family, for center-based back-up care, and $4 per hour for in-home care (for up to 10 hours/day for up to three children). The copay per use for students will be $5 per child, or $10 per family, for center-based back-up care and $2 per hour for in-home care.

Since the care is provided at a cost less than the market rate for these services, the difference between the market rate and the copay is treated by the IRS as additional income, also known as imputed income, and is taxable. The employee or student who has used the back-up care program is required to pay taxes on the imputed income.

The need for back-up care is obviously difficult to predict, so we urge employees and students who think they may utilize the program at some point to proactively set up an account, download the mobile app, and familiarize yourself with the program now so you are ready to go in case of a care emergency.

Information on other family services offered to employees and students can be found online: