EXPERIMENTS AND STRATEGIES
Financial Support for Dependent Care
Several successful strategies and programs exist in which students, postdoctoral scholars, and faculty are able to receive financial support to cover expenses related to dependent child care. Programs of this sort are sponsored by universities, professional societies, and research funding agencies.
Universities: A number of universities and research centers have programs that provide partial financial support to eligible students, faculty, and postdoctoral scholars to cover childcare expenses.
Harvard University’s Dependent Care Fund for Conference Travel provides dependent care assistance for assistant and associate professors attending professional development events such as academic conferences. Awards from the fund may be used by recipients for dependent care at a conference, or at an alternative location, and may include those expenses incurred in transporting a caregiver.a
Cornell University’s Child Care Grant Subsidy (CCGS) Program covers faculty and staff dependent care for “work days, school holidays, summer va-cations and teacher work days.”b The program is open to all benefits-eligible Cornell faculty and staff (including postdoctoral scholars) whose total household income is less than $150,000 annually and covers expenses for children up to 12 years old. The university deposits up to $5,000 in a FlexBenefits account for each qualifying employee. The intent of the CCGS program is to ease the burden that the cost of quality child care can present to faculty and staff.
The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center offers a Postdoc Childcare Subsidy Program. Through this program, selected center medical fellows and postdoctoral scholars receive a subsidy to cover partial cost of child care for prekindergarten children up to 6 years old. The subsidy covers 25% of the cost of childcare, up to $250 a month, for each child.c
The University of Washington offers a Childcare Voucher Program through which it subsidizes child-care costs for eligible students. Depending on age of the child, this program will provide a subsidy of up to 60% of monthly child care expenses. The program covers children up to 12 years old, and assistance under this program is limited to lower-income students. The program is funded by the university’s Services and Activities Fee which is paid by all students.d
Scientific and Professional Societies: The availability of child-care services at scientific and professional meetings can be an important factor in encouraging faculty, graduate students, and postdoctoral scholars with children to attend these