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COVID-19 Family Resources

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We understand the disruptive impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on families and caregivers. We offer child care options, resources and support to assist families in navigating this challenging moment in time.

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Infant & Toddler

Get access to resources and support for families with infants and toddlers to assist you in caring for your youngest family members.

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Preschool & Pre-K

View child care options, resources and support to assist you in caring for your preschooler during the pandemic.

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Early Elementary

Access virtual learning resources, including ways to support distance learning and other tips to keep your child engaged as you navigate learning and living at home.

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Explore resources including enrichment classes, homework help and tutoring to support teenagers during the COVID crisis.

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Support for Parents and Caregivers

From remote learning to strategies to elder care resources, we provide the assistance you need to care for your loved ones, and yourself during the pandemic.

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On-site Child Care Operations During COVID-19

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the WorkLife Office (WLO) and child care operators have continued to follow regulations for school and child care operations.

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COVID-19 Child Care

What resources are available for those trying to balance work responsibilities with caregiving responsibilities, such as providing childcare while schools are closed or offering remote learning? (Updated 2/28/22)

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. Employees may also be eligible for COVID Flex Hours.

What grants and financial resources are available to support my family with child care needs? (updated 6/10/21)

Updated 6/10/21

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 postdoctoral scholars 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: To help with the cost of child care, the CCSG provides grants for benefits-eligible employees who meet application qualifications.

  • Faculty Child Care Assistance Program: Given 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.

What vaccination protocol are child care centers following? (added 9/17/21)

Currently, our child care operators are fulfilling the county requirement by having employees share their vaccination status and requiring weekly testing for all of their employees regardless of vaccination status. In addition, they must comply with all other jurisdictional requirements.

Are any of the on-site child care centers open? (Updated 9/13/21)

Stanford on-site child care center operations have been significantly curtailed due to COVID-19 public health guidance. As of September 2021, all six campus child centers are operating and ramping up to pre-COVID enrollment capacity. We have immediate openings for preschool-age children. Learn more about the available preschool spaces or WorkLife Office's on-site child care operations.

What measures are being taken to protect our children and teachers at Stanford's on-site child care centers? (Updated 9/13/21)

Campus child care centers are following very stringent, important guidelines. 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, as much as is possible
  • Conducting daily health checks at drop-off on all children and staff entering the building
  • Reminding families to respect social distancing guidelines at drop-off and pick-up
  • Requiring drop-off and pick-up to take place outside of the centers as much as possible
  • Requiring teachers and children ages 2 and older to use face coverings
  • Placing nap mats and cribs six feet apart while children rest
  • Conducting routine cleaning and disinfecting at the end of each day
Can I change the amount I am contributing to my dependent care FSA if I am not paying for child care at this time? (Updated 6/10/21)

Yes. A change in dependent care cost or provider is a Qualifying Life event, so reducing your future elections to your dependent care flexible spending account (FSA) is allowed (although making retroactive adjustment is not). If you receive a Child Care Subsidy Grant award in your FSA, you will continue to receive the per-pay-period award amount even if you contribute nothing further this year. It is also important to remember that in 2020, the IRS has also allowed Stanford to temporarily amend its FSA rules for 2021 allowing you to carryover your full, unused 2020 dependent day care FSA balance and your full, unused CCSG balance into 2021. Any remaining unused balance at the end of 2021 will also be allowed to carryover into 2022, but after that, we expect the old rules to return and there won't be additional carryover. 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. 

Are there actions parents can take to help minimize the spread of COVID-19?

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).

I used up my allotted 10 days of my back-up care benefit, what additional resources does the WorkLife Office offer? (Added 3/23/20)

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. 

What options do I have to support my child care needs? (Updated 3/29/21)

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.

What is the policy for families that travel? (updated 3/18/21)

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.