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COVID-19 Family Resources

COVID-19 Child Care

Updated 2/25/21

The WorkLife Office and campus partners offer several grant programs and resources that are available to support you now and beyond the pandemic:

  • Child Care Assistance Grant Program: New as of March 1, the Child Care Assistance Grant provides up to $5,000 per year to assist with child care expenses. In recognition of the various types of child care used by our postdoc families, this grant will allow some flexibility in the types of care eligible for reimbursement.

  • Family Grant Program: New as of March 1, to further assist postdocs with families, the Family Grant allows up to $5,000 per year for living expenses beyond child care expenses; a few examples include housing, food, dependent medical costs, or transportation.

  • Tuition Mitigation and Tuition Assistance Programs: Graduate students and postdocs will continue to have access to subsidized tuition programs. For more information and eligibility, please contact your center director.

  • Employee Emergency Assistance Fund: Qualified benefits-eligible employees may apply for help when experiencing a short-term financial emergency or unanticipated expenses that cause financial hardship.

  • Child Care Subsidy Grant Program: We extended the program to offer a 9-month grant period to support benefits-eligible employees who become newly eligible after the Sept. 1 grant deadline (including new hires). The deadline to apply for the 9-month grant is March 1.

  • Faculty Child Care Assistance Program: Giving the impacts of the pandemic, this faculty program was expanded for the 2021 cycle to provide additional care relief.

  • Graduate Family Grant Program: The Family Grant is available to all graduate students and may be used flexibly to cover expenses such as childcare, healthcare, insurance and rent.

Stanford on-site child care center operations have been significantly curtailed due to County shelter-in-place guidance. As of July 22, we have five centers operating.

Learn more about the WorkLife Office's on-site child care operations.

Campus child care centers are following very stringent, important guidelines that limit staffing patterns, the ways in which teacher’s breaks can be covered, and how children and teachers must remain in their same groups throughout the day. They also continue to deploy hygiene best practices and preventive measures. Additionally, we are closely monitoring practices shared by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)County Public Health Department, and the Department of Social Services Community Care Licensing. The day-to-day practices we are implementing include: 

  • Keeping teachers with the same group and in the same classroom throughout the day
  • Conducting daily temperature checks at drop-off on all children and staff entering the building
  • Placing six-foot markers at the parent sign-in and as a reminder to respect the social distancing guidelines 
  • Requiring teachers to use masks
  • Placing nap mats and cribs six feet apart while children rest
  • Requiring that drop-off and pick-up be done outside of the center
  • Conducting daily cleaning and disinfecting at the end of each day

 

Yes. If you experience a change in child care costs, you can reduce your election to your dependent care flexible spending account (FSA). Note that if you receive a Child Care Subsidy Grant award in your FSA, you will continue to receive the per-pay-period award amount. To reduce your election, log into My Benefits and select “Change Your Benefits.” From there, select “Change in dependent care cost or provider.” Your FSA election is the only benefit election you’ll be able to change due to this circumstance.  

Yes, we ask that all parents help support our efforts by:

  • Complying with the handwashing guidance when you enter and leave a classroom.

  • Keeping your children home if they have symptoms of illness and especially if they have a fever.

  • Following the self-isolation guidelines as recommended by the CDC.

  • Providing accurate and complete information during the daily inspection for illness.

  • Communicating your travel plans to ensure compliance with Stanford’s self-isolation requirements. Visit the Stanford Health Alerts website for important updates about infectious diseases, travel warnings and other public health issues.

  • Remaining vigilant to your own health and the health of your child(ren). Please review the CDC’s Healthy Habits to Prevent Flu to avoid the spread of flu at work and school. 

  • Planning and preparing for alternative care in the case of center closures (e.g. family support, alternating schedules with partners, neighborhood cooperation).

If you already used up your 10 days of Back-Up Care (BUCA), you may still access Bright Horizons Additional Family Supports, but pay for the services out of pocket.

Bright Horizons Additional Family Supports gives you free membership access to Sittercity's extensive database of babysitters, nannies and elder companions where you can find a caregiver and negotiate rates directly. 

Schools, child care center operations, and families who are in need of care continue to be significantly impacted by the pandemic. To help families navigate this challenging time, the WorkLife Office offers Family Resources, including additional child care options to consider during COVID-19. 

Additionally, to support you as you navigate the ongoing caregiving demands brought about by COVID-19, Stanford is offering COVID Flex Hours, effective through September 30, 2021.

This interim policy provides up to 80 hours of paid time to eligible employees, to be used for qualifying issues arising from the impacts of COVID-19, as well as up to 24 hours of paid time for self-care. The intention of COVID Flex Hours is to ensure that you can take the time you need to care for yourself and your family during the pandemic.

Based on the county’s latest shelter-in-place guidance, effective July 13, child care, summer camps, summer school, and all other educational or recreational programs for all children may operate and must abide with keeping children in stable groups over time and comply with restrictive staffing patterns. The WLO continues to assess  our current capacity and align with the university’s staged restart.

Learn more about the WorkLife Office's on-site child care operations.

While some families are anxious to get back to child care, we recognize others are nervous to return to group care. To help families navigate this challenging time, the WorkLife Office offers Family Resources, including additional child care options to consider during COVID-19.

 

The extension of shelter in place has significantly impacted child care center operations and families who are in need of care. To help families navigate this challenging time, the WorkLife Office offers Family Resources, including additional child care options to consider during COVID-19. You may also want to consider forming "family social bubbles" to get additional support with work schedules.

We also recognize the challenges of supporting the remote-learning activities of children as school districts are announcing distance learning. We encourage you to coordinate with your supervisor to ensure you have the opportunity to attend all school orientation meetings.

Additionally, to support you as you navigate the ongoing caregiving demands brought about by COVID-19, Stanford is offering COVID Flex Hours, effective through September 30, 2021.

This interim policy provides up to 80 hours of paid time to eligible employees, to be used for qualifying issues arising from the impacts of COVID-19,  as well as up to 24 hours of paid time for self-care. The intention of COVID Flex Hours is to ensure that you can take the time you need to care for yourself and your family during the pandemic.

Our facilities are complying with the university’s travel policies and we are enforcing these with all families enrolled in on-site childcare, as well as with potential tours of enrolling families. Please review Stanford’s travel policies, including requirements for returning to Stanford after traveling.

Yes, the Order allows nannies and childcare providers caring for a child in the child’s own home to continue working.