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Frequently Asked Questions

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Please see common questions regarding the Child Care Subsidy Grant program. 

Still have questions? Contact the WorkLife Office

Online application system for CCSG

What exactly is changing and why?

In 2023, WorkLife implemented an online system to administer the Child Care Subsidy Grant. This system replaces various manual paper processes that have been in place for the past two decades. 

There are many benefits to this system, including less chance for user error, increased transparency in the application process, and time saved printing and posting the application. WorkLife is partnering with BridgeCare, a third party vendor, who will host the application on their platform.

How will you be protecting my privacy?

The system meets Stanford’s rigorous online security requirements and ensures that sensitive personal and financial documents stay protected. Read the privacy statement here.

I don’t have access to a computer. How can I apply?

You can use your mobile phone to access the online system during open application periods. Alternatively, please call the WorkLife Office on 650-723-2660 and request access to a computer on-site.

Application process

How can I find out the status of my application and if I have been awarded a grant?

The WorkLife Office will contact applicants via email to confirm application and supporting documentation have been received. Grant award notification letters will be sent via e-mail after all applications have been reviewed and processed for each period. If additional information or clarification is required, the WorkLife Office will contact you, using the contact information provided on the application form.

My ex-spouse/partner claims my child on their taxes but I am responsible for paying for child care, can I apply?

You are eligible to apply for the CCSG if:

The child is your legal dependent and claimed on your tax form, or you are the Custodial Parent and can provide a copy of Form 2441 that was filed with your previous year’s Federal tax returns, per the application guidelines. Per the IRS definition, the Custodial Parent is the parent with whom the child lived for the greater number of nights during the year. If the child was with each parent for an equal number of nights, the custodial parent is the parent with the higher adjusted gross income.

I have a disabled child. Are there additional grants available for me to apply?

Yes. We recognize there may be some situations within a regular caregiving context, either in a care facility/school or within the home, that extends the financial burden of normal child care. 

You may be eligible to receive an additional taxable grant of $1,000 to meet these exceptional child care expenses for tax dependents under 13 years of age. 

To apply for this additional taxable grant during the CCSG application period, please be prepared to include a description of the exceptional child care expense and upload proof of the additional expense (such as contracts or paid invoices). 

Please note the distinction between exceptional child care expenses and medical needs, such as speech therapy and occupational therapy. Stanford offers two types of accounts that let you set aside money for health care expenses, including for dependents, before taxes are calculated on your salary: 

  • With a health savings account (HSA), there is a limit to what you can contribute in a year, but not how much you can save over a lifetime; unused dollars will carry over every year but requires you to be enrolled in a high deductible health plan.
  • With a health care flexible spending account (FSA), there is a limit to what you can contribute in a year and it is designed to be spent within the year, allowing a small amount to carry over. But it is compatible with all health plans.

Please review this webpage to see what qualified medical expenses are covered under these accounts.

Examples of eligible exceptional child care expenses can include, but are not limited to: 

• Child care tuition and fees for providers that specialize in additional support for children with disabilities

• Child care, or caregiver related training not reimbursed by any other agency 

• Care expenses for the wellness of the child including support with feeding, transferring/repositioning, dressing, grooming, personal hygiene, and toileting

Situations not considered an exceptional child care expense include, but are not limited to: 

  • Multiple births 
  • Paying above average child care rates, or
  • High monthly non-childcare expenses

The WorkLife Office will evaluate requests for exceptional care needs to determine if an additional $1,000 in taxable grant funds may be awarded. Please note that no more than $1,000 will be awarded per household, no matter how many individual needs are documented. Further, the maximum total annual grant amount cannot exceed the application period limit, regardless of exceptional child care expenses. Applicants will receive notification if this award is granted.

My dependent is not claimed on my taxes because they were born this current fiscal year. Can I apply?

You are eligible to apply if your dependent was born in the same calendar year as the application period, even if they are not reflected in your most recent tax return. Please submit a copy of their birth certificate or hospital verification of birth to confirm. 

I applied and was awarded a grant, but since then, I added a new child to my family. May I receive an additional grant?

If you received a 12-month grant and added a new eligible child before the end of that period, please contact the WorkLife Office at 650-723-2660 or email for further guidance. If you added a new eligible child after being awarded a CCSG award of the same grant year, you may be eligible for an additional amount. You must apply for an amendment to your grant during a Mid-Year award period to be considered

My spouse/partner also works at Stanford. Are we both able to apply for the Child Care Subsidy Grant?

No, it is one award per household.

CCSG funds disbursement

How do I receive the grant funds?

12-Month, Tax-Free Grant:  Your CCSG award will be automatically accepted for you in My Benefits and applied to your Dependent Day Care Flexible Spending Account (DDCFSA). Each recipient must understand and abide by all rules and regulations that govern Stanford’s Dependent Day Care Flexible Spending Account (DDCFSA). If you are on leave during Open Enrollment, your grant will be automatically accepted upon your return. 

For tax-free grants, the grant will be divided into 24 equal payments and deposited into the recipient’s DDCFSA each pay period during the grant year. Participants must submit receipts for eligible child care expenses to receive reimbursement after the money is deposited into the account.

The full-year taxable grants are administered in two payments, once in the first pay period of April  and once in the first pay period in July. It can be used for any child care related needs that occur from April–December of that year. The funds will be reported as taxable income to the IRS for the year. Proof of care, through child care receipts, is not required for taxable award periods.

Grant recipients are responsible for understanding and complying with the IRS guidelines as this is a Federal tax program under IRS regulation.

6-Month, Taxable Grant:  Grant recipients from this period will receive a separate payment (in the manner they receive their standard pay statements) during the second pay period in July (approximately on July 22) of the current tax year. Taxes will be applied and reported as income on each grant recipient’s W-2 at the end of the tax year.

Dependent Day Care Flexible Spending Account (DDCFSA)

If I receive a CCSG can I still contribute to my DDCFSA?

If you receive a CCSG from Stanford, you can elect to make additional contributions to your DDCFSA from your wages on a pre-tax basis, as long as the total of the tax-free grant plus your contribution does not exceed the maximum annual total of $5,000 per family ($2,500, if you’re married and file taxes separately).

If I receive notification of a grant award am I automatically enrolled in a DDCFSA?

Yes, your full year CCSG award will be automatically accepted for you in My Benefits and applied to your Dependent Day Care Flexible Spending Account (DDCFSA).

If you are on leave during Open Enrollment, your grant will be automatically accepted upon your return.

If I don’t use all of the CCSG during the grant year can it be rolled over to the following year?

The IRS prohibits the carryover of unused balances from one year to the next, including both employee contributions and CCSG awards, in this type of Dependent Day Care Flexible Spending Account (DDCFSA).

Eligible expenses

What are eligible child care expenses under the CCSG grant?

Eligible expenses include:

  • Fees for licensed child care, early education, or preschool programs or adult care facilities
  • Before and after school care programs for dependents under age 13
  • Amounts child care provider with a tax ID number or social security number (including babysitters or nursery school) provided in or outside of your home
  • Nanny expenses attributed to dependent care
  • Nursery school (preschool) fees
  • Summer Day Camp
  • Late pick-up fees


What expenses do not qualify for CCSG funds?

CCSG funds are not valid for overnight camp, team registration fees, extracurricular activities, or club sports.  The program's primary intent must be to provide child care while the parent is working. Please contact the WorkLife office if you have any questions.

Leave of absence or separation from Stanford

Once I have been awarded a CCSG will I continue to receive it if I take a leave of absence?

If for any reason you take a paid leave of absence, your grant will be frozen during your leave.  You cannot contribute to your account or submit any claims that you incur during your leave. When you return from leave, your account will be reinstated and your contributions will be adjusted so you meet your original election amount by the end of the year.  If you are on unpaid leave, your Dependent Day Care Flexible Spending Account (DDCFSA) will be frozen while you are on your leave. 

Please refer to the University HR Service Team for further questions about leave. 

What happens if I terminate my employment from Stanford?

Your contributions to the Dependent Day Care Flexible Spending Account (DDCFSA) stop the date your employment ends. You may not continue contributions beyond that date. You may only be reimbursed up to the balance remaining in your account at the time your contributions end.

You can file a claim for reimbursement of eligible expenses you incur up to the end of the year in which you terminate. You will only be reimbursed up to the amount remaining in your account on the date your employment ends. For example: Your last day of employment and last contribution is July 15.   For any additional questions about this process, please contact the University HR Service Team.

I am no longer employed at Stanford, but my spouse is an eligible employee. May I transfer my grant to them?

No, we are not able to transfer grants.