Backup and sick-child care
We know that even the best planned child care arrangements can be disrupted occasionally, so UW offers in-center and in-home backup care through KinderCare and Bright Horizons to eligible faculty, staff, and student parents. Examples of when to take advantage of these services are:
- Your child is mildly ill and can’t go back to their care center yet (in-home care)
- Your regular caregiver is unavailable (center or in-home care)
- Your child’s school is closed (center or in-home care)
- You are between care arrangements (center or in-home care)
- You are transitioning back to work after leave (center or in-home care)
Backup care is available in your home or at center locations throughout Puget Sound and nationwide. Hours of operation and child age requirements vary. In-home care is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, whenever you need to attend to academic or work responsibilities or if your child is too sick for their regular arrangements.
In order to provide you with these child care options, we’ve negotiated subsidized rates with two providers: Bright Horizons Child Care Solutions and KinderCare Learning Centers. While both deliver high-quality care, the services and costs vary slightly between the two. We recommend you register with both programs in advance, prior to any need for care. If the need arises your request can then be submitted without taking additional steps. Effort is made to fill all requests but cannot be guaranteed.
When your regular child care is unavailable, KinderCare provides backup care options throughout Puget Sound and nationwide. The cost is $20 per child per day (full or partial), and you may use the service up to 10 times per calendar year.
Before scheduling care, register for backup child care on the KinderCare website. On the registration page, select University of Washington from the drop down menu then leave the company code blank. Phone: 877-914-7683, select option 3.
Once you’ve registered, you’ll get instructions on how to schedule backup care. On the KinderCare website, you’ll be able to review details about each child care center.
Backup care is provided on a first-come, first-served basis and availability is not guaranteed. Whenever possible, schedule backup care in advance (you can schedule care up to 30 days in advance). This will help ensure that child care is available when you need it.
If you need to cancel backup care, do so before 5 p.m. on the day prior to your scheduled care. If you cancel after 5 p.m., you’ll be billed for all the hours you originally scheduled.
Bright Horizons provides backup and sick child care. When your regular child care is temporarily unavailable, you can take your child to one of the many Bright Horizons centers or affiliates, or request to send a caregiver to your home. If your child is mildly sick, in-home care is your option.
In center backup care costs $20 per child and $35 per family. In-home care costs $32 for up to four hours of care (for up to three of your children). Each additional hour costs $8.
You may use a combination of these two services up to five times per calendar year.
Before using backup care, register with Bright Horizons to create a personal account. On the sign in page, use “Not registered yet?/Create your profile” and enter username as UnivWa and enter the password 4Backup. You will then be ready to create your own account. If you have problems registering, call Bright Horizons at 877-242-2737.
Once you’ve registered, you will get instructions about how to schedule your backup care.
Care is provided on a first-come, first-served basis and availability is not guaranteed. Whenever possible, schedule backup care in advance (you can schedule care up to 30 days in advance). This will help ensure that child care is available when you need it.
If you need to cancel your appointment, do so before 5 p.m. on the day prior to your scheduled time. If you cancel after 5 p.m., you’ll be billed for all the hours you originally scheduled.
Funding limits for backup and sick child care
The UW backup and sick child care program has limited funding and limited overall uses. Parents are enrolled in the program on a first-come, first-served basis and will be able to access services as long as yearly contract limitations are not exceeded. If program use exceeds funds available, the program may be suspended