Through Berkeley Lab’s partnership with Bright Horizons, employees no longer have to miss work when their normal care arrangements are unavailable. Employees have access to a comprehensive national network of childcare centers and in-home providers for a child, adult, and elder back-up care needs.
The Bright Horizons back-up care can be used for these and other occasions:
- Your regular caregiver is unavailable
- A child, adult, or elder is mildly ill
- School closures
- The transition between old/new caregiver arrangements
- Travel or changes location
- Transition following maternity leave
The service can be used up to 15 days per calendar year. Berkeley Lab employees are encouraged to register in advance. Registration is free and does not commit an employee to use the service.
For more information about program eligibility, costs, and registration, please see below, as well as navigating to the Bright Horizons Back-Up Care website.
Click here for the COVID-19 Crisis Care Program
To support employees during the COVID-19 outbreak, the Lab has enhanced the Bright Horizons Back-Up Care program. If care of a family member is needed so you can work, Career and Term employees, and Postdoctoral Scholars can utilize the Bright Horizons back-up care network to request care. If care through the Bright Horizon network is not available, you can select Crisis Care. With Crisis Care, you will receive a reimbursement of $100 to help with the cost of care you arrange with a babysitter, friend, or relative of your choosing. This offer has been extended through May 31.
Reminder: Please review the taxable benefit section below.
To request Bright Horizons back-up care, follow these steps to Registration/Reservation:
- If Bright Horizon is unable to fill your request through their care network, you will then be offered an “Out of Network” $100 reimbursement per daycare is requested up to 15 uses per year (minus any uses already used) to help secure your own care (neighbor, friend, babysitter, etc.). You will be prompted to sign the confirmation and release in advance of care and submit a completed “Request for Reimbursement” form within 10 days after each care date
The eligible population for this program consists of employees that are career, term, or Postdoctoral Fellows.
The following groups are excluded:
- Employees on Limited Assignment
- Graduate Student Research Associates
- Student Assistants
- Rehired Retirees
- Visiting Researchers
An employee is only eligible while they are on active pay status in the Lab’s payroll system.
For purposes of this benefit, ‘dependent’ is anyone that is currently dependent on the caretaking of the employee. This is most frequently a child, spouse, domestic partner, parent, or other family members, but is not limited to these or any other specific categories. In addition, this benefit can be used by the employee directly. Children are age 0-17 and adults are age 18 and above.
The Lab is subsidizing some of the costs of this service to help reduce the amount of the employees pay. Employees will be charged:
- $15/child with a maximum of $25/family per visit for center-based care during the center’s normal operating hours
- $6/hour per caregiver for in-home care; no additional charge for evening/weekend care (4-hour minimum, up to 3 dependents)
- An additional charge of $50/hour for medical care
Employees pay Bright Horizons directly using a credit card or debit card, payable at the time of reservation.
Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (Dep-Care FSA) can not be used for this service.
The Backup Care program provides employees with certain types of dependent care charging a co-pay that is less than the market rate for these services. The difference between the market rate and the employee co-pay is considered a taxable benefit and treated by the IRS as additional income to the employee.
The market value is based upon national averages and will be reviewed and adjusted annually. The following is the current market values for the following services:
- Center care: $80/day
- In-home care: $27/hour
The amount of tax paid is dependent upon the tax bracket of the individual.
The additional income is reported monthly as Other Income on the employee’s paycheck and will be subject to the following taxes:
- OASDI – Social Security
- Federal income tax
- State income tax
Before using the service, employees must register using one of these two methods:
- Visit the Bright Horizons Back-Up Care program website and use this login information:
- Username: LBNL
- Password: 4Backup
- A unique username and password will be assigned to each employee during registration
- Call Bright Horizons toll-free at 877-BH-CARES (877 242-2737)
Registration takes about 5 to 10 minutes. It is recommended that employees register in advance of when services are needed, but registration can also be done the same day. Additional dependents can be added at any time.
Registration is free and does not commit an employee to use the service. Those who are registered can take advantage of information and resources for parents and families on the Bright Horizons Back-Up Care program website.
Once registered, employees can make reservations online or over the phone (877-242-2737) for backup care.
Reservations can be made up to one month in advance of and up to the day backup care is needed. No more than five consecutive days can be scheduled. Consultants are available 24/7 by phone or online (using number and link above) to assist employees with their backup care needs.
The Backup Care Program is administered by Bright Horizons, with the Lab’s HR Benefits Group providing vendor management. Contact Bright Horizon’s at (877) 242-2737 for any questions regarding the program. Contact HR Benefits ([email protected], x6403) for any issues not resolved directly by Bright Horizons.