Grad Employee Family Benefits
Multiple campus organizations provide support to grad families--please review the helpful UMass Child Care Subsidies Info Sheet prepared by Student Parent Programs.
The Trust Fund Childcare Reimbursement
The Trust Fund plans to distribute over $115,000 during this plan year across eligible graduate employees for their childcare costs.
The basic eligibility requirements are:
1) Applicants must be GEO-eligible, according to the guidelines for dental and vision insurance.
2) Effective starting Fall 2020 (receipts from Sept-Dec 2020, due Jan 2021) eligible childcare includes:
state-licensed (or equivalent) infant, toddler, or preschool care in center based and group home-based settings
before and after-school based care
organizational/center based extracurricular activities (i.e. excludes private lessons)
Family, Friends and Neighbor (FFN) informal care when needed by the family due to one of the criteria below
Tutoring, homework assistance and online instructional programming costs for school-aged children
Licensed care means that the State of Massachusetts' Office of Early Education & Care (or comparable state office in another state) has provided a license to your provider to operate. The state publishes a list of licensed providers. Please check with your provider if they are not on this list, as some are exempt under the EEC guidelines.
There is also a $6,000 per child (for whom receipts are submitted) annual cap on the amount a family can be reimbursed. The full eligibility requirements and guidelines for how we determine childcare reimbursements are available below.
Family, Friends & Neighbors (FFN) Informal Child Care Criteria
Family, Friends and Neighbor Care (FFN) is childcare provided in a child or caregiver’s home by a person who is a relative, friend, neighbor, or babysitter. FFN care can be an important component in covering gaps in your existing childcare, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic when childcare options are limited.
In recognition of this reality, FFN care will be considered an eligible type of childcare for reimbursement purposes during the 2020-21 plan year when the care is needed due to a family’s:
health concerns about placing my child in a childcare facility,
unavailability of previously used childcare facility,
inability to secure non-FFN childcare, or
altered work or academic schedules that do not align with non-FFN childcare options (i.e. night classes and labs, etc.).
Parents must sign a waiver of liability to access reimbursement for FFN care.
Important Documents & Deadlines
The Trust Fund allocates childcare reimbursements 3 times per year (fall, spring & summer). Upcoming application start dates and deadlines are:
starts Aug 15 and deadline Sept 15, 2020 for summer (June-August 2020 receipts)
starts Jan 1 and deadline Jan 15, 2021 for fall (Sept-Dec 2020 receipts)
starts June 1 and deadline June 15, 2021 for spring (Jan-May 2021 receipts)
Predicting your Trust Fund Reimbursement
COVID-19 Child Care Reimbursement
During the Spring and Summer 2020 child care reimbursement periods, applicant families will be eligible to apply for a $150.00 per family subsidy to help address the cost of conversion to homeschooling and full‐time childcare at home during COVID‐19. The same child care assistance eligibility requirements and income verification procedures used previously will remain in effect.
The Trust Fund cannot guarantee reimbursements because so many changing variables impact the number and amount of reimbursements per period: the number of eligible applicants, their actual total childcare costs, etc. However, it can be useful to review what families similar to yours have received in previous rounds of reimbursement. Please account for the fact that any other subsidy received for the same period will reduce your total reported childcare costs.
Find your income level using your family size and your household's Adjusted Gross income from your last federal tax return using this chart.
Please find the most recent percentage reimbursements for all income levels below:
Fall 2019 Reimbursement Schedule: Summer 2020 Reimbursement Schedule
--Reimburse all applicants in levels 1-3 at 100% --Reimburse all applicants in levels 1-28 at 100%
--Reimburse all applicants in level 4-9 at 75%
--Reimburse all applicants in level 10 at 50%
--Reimburse all applicants in level 11 at 35%
--Reimburse all applicants in level 12-15 at 20%
--Reimburse all applicants in level 16-19 at 10%
--Reimburse all applicants in level 20-28 at 5%
Spring 2020 Reimbursement Schedule:
--Reimburse all applicants in levels 1-20 at 100%
--Reimburse all applicants in levels 21-25 at 60%
--Reimburse all applicants in levels 26 and above at 15%
Subsidized Childcare Slots
For those with qualifying incomes whose children attend the University's Center for Early Education and Care (CEEC), there are free slots in the Flex-Care classroom, paid for by the Health & Welfare Trust Fund. Get on the waiting list as soon as you can by calling CEEC at (413) 545-1566.
Subsidized Family Plan Rates
The Trust Fund uses funds to keep the cost of family plans as low as possible. The Trust Fund subsidizes over 90% of the cost of the GEO family dental plan and 100% of the cost of the GEO family vision plan. We also contribute funds towards keeping your UMass student health plan contributions low.
Campus Lactation Station Locations
The Health & Welfare Trust Fund has purchased a breast feeding glider chair for the breast feeding spaces operated by the Office of Family Resources (OFR), Rm. 428 Student Union Building. as well as the location in the Lederle Grad Research Tower. We'd like to encourage graduate student mothers to use the space! Click here for a map of breast-feeding rooms on campus.