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Click here to access information on the current status of the NIH Child and Family Programs as we Return to Work.

Check out the April 1, 2022 issue of the NIH Record for "What to Expect Coming Back to the Physical Workplace" https://nihrecord.nih.gov/2022/04/01/what-expect-coming-back-physical-workplace

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs
 
  • expand-collapse question categoryChild Care Centers
    • QuestionHow many child care centers are there?
      • There are three centers located in Montgomery County, Maryland -​ two on the main NIH campus in Bethesda and one on Executive Blvd. in Rockville. A fourth​ center in Research Triangle, N.C. serves NIEHS.​

    • QuestionWhat age children do the child care centers accept?
      • Ages range from six weeks to 12 years. Specific information about each center can be found on the Child Care Centers page​.  (At this time, our center located on Executive Blvd. in Rockville is the only center serving school age children.)

    • QuestionWho is permitted to use the child care centers?
      • Priority is given first to parents or legal guardians who are Federal Employees or Trainees/Fellows who work for the NIH, then to Federal Employees of Other Federal Agencies, and then to NIH Contractors who work at an NIH facility in Maryland (preschool-age children only) - effective early May 2022.

        NIH Volunteers, Guest Researchers and Tenants are not eligible to use the NIH Child Care Centers.​

    • QuestionWho operates the child care centers?
      • Each center is operated by an independent, non-profit corporation providing child care programs.  Each center is governed by a Board of Directors.  The center Board hires a qualified Director who is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the center, which includes supervising staff, overseeing curriculum, enrolling families, coordinating with the NIH, and maintaining compliance with health, safety and program requirements.

    • QuestionHow much is tuition?
      • Each Center sets its own tuition rates depending on center size, ages served and program expenses.

        For the most current rates see the Child Care Centers page.​

    • QuestionWho decides the tuition rates?
      • Each Center's Board of Directors sets the center's annual tuition rates based on projected expenses.  Each center's operating expenses are paid primarily through parent tuition.​

    • QuestionIs there any tuition subsidy or reduced fee offered by the child care centers?
      • Each child care center offers a limited scholarship program depending on center size, ages served and program expenses. Specific tuition information can be found in the Family Handbook for each center and/or upon request to the Center Director.

        For more information see the Child Care Centers page.​

        NIH Federal Employees (Title 5 and 42)  are encouraged to apply the NIH Child Care Subsidy Program, if eligible.  For more information see the NIH Child Care Subsidy Program page.

    • QuestionIs it a problem to enter the NIH campus due to enhanced security and health/safety measures?
      • NIH employees are issued ID badges to access campus and can use those to drop off or pick up a child.

        Non-NIH parents or guardians who need to access the NIH campus for child care reasons are issued a special ID badge and parking placard.

        Please refer to the NIH Security's Frequently Asked Questions for additional information and updates.​

    • QuestionWho do I contact to get information about the child care centers?
      • You can call each center directly or find specific information about each center on the Child Care Centers page.   Be sure to check out the side-by-side comparison chart of the three NIH-sponsored child care centers.

        For general questions about the NIH Child and Family Programs, you may contact the NIH Child and Family Programs team at 301-827-3250.​

  • expand-collapse question categoryWaiting List
    • QuestionWhat are the top ten things I need to know about the NIH Childcare Waitlist?
      • Please check back later as we are currently working on a new webinar about the top ten things you need to know about the NIH Childcare Waitlist.  In the meantime, the Frequently Asked Questions you are currently reviewing are a terrific source of information.

        If more information is needed immediately, please reach out to the NIH Child and Family Programs team at 301-827-3250.​

    • QuestionWhy is there a waitlist for the NIH-sponsored Child Care Centers?
    • QuestionWho is the centralized Childcare Waitlist Administrator?
      • The NIH has contracted with Adventist HealthCare/LifeWork Strategies to maintain the consolidated​ waitlist database.  The profiles/information on children up to five (5) years of age registered for the NIH Childcare Waitlist is maintained by the Waitlist Administrator and updated daily.

        The Centers use the Childcare Waitlist to identify which child is the next eligible to fill a vacancy, as it occurs. While the Waitlist Administrator collects information and maintains data, all decisions about vacancies and enrollment offers are made by the administrative staff of each childcare center.

    • QuestionWhat about care for school-age children?
      • Executive Child Development Center, Inc. (ECDC) is the only NIH-sponsored center that offers limited school-age care.  ECDC maintains it's own Kindergarten and offers school-age​ before- and after-school care and summer camp.  You must contact the ECDC Administrative Staff at (301) 496-9411 to identify participating elementary schools and place your child on the ECDC school-age waitlist for kindergarten, before- and after-school care, and summer camp. 

    • QuestionCan a Contractor, Volunteer or a Guest Researcher register their child on the NIH Childcare Waitlist?
      • As of early May 2022, NIH Contractors who work for at an NIH facility in Maryland may register their preschool-age children only on the consolidated NIH Childcare Waitlist. 

        NIH Volunteers, Guest Researchers and Tenants are not eligible for NIH Child Care Centers.

        NIH Federal Employees, Trainees/Fellows, Contractors, Volunteers, Guest Researchers, and Tenants may utilize the NIH Child Care Resource and Referral Service  to locate alternative child care by calling 1-800-777-1720.

    • QuestionWhen should I place my child's name on the NIH Childcare Waitlist?
      • NIH Federal Employees and Trainees/Fellows may register their child(ren) on the centralized NIH Childcare Waitlist, as follows:

        1.  As soon as you know you are expecting a child. Registration requires a “due date.”

        2.  Those who indicate that they are adopting a child will be assigned a date of application that is no greater than nine (9) months prior to the placement of the child with the family.

        3. Trainees/Fellows can apply as soon as they receive their official offer letter from the NIH Office of Human Resources.

        4. NIH Contractors who work at an NIH facility located in Maryland may register only their preschool-age children (36-59 months old at time of registration).

        To join the centralized childcare waitlist, complete the Online Waiting List Registration Form.  The NIH Childcare Waitlist Administrator will contact you within two (2) business days to verify your application.​​

    • QuestionWhat is my number/position on the waiting list?
      • There are no “numbers” associated with the centralized NIH Childcare Waitlist.

        The administrative staff of each child care center will call parents on the Childcare Waitlist based on the following criteria and in the order listed below.

        • Sibling Status
          NIH employees and trainees/fellows who have a child currently enrolled in the same center get "sibling priority" for their other children.
        • The Age of the Child
          The first family on the NIH Childcare Waitlist whose child meets the age requirement for the available space will be called. Even if a child has been on the NIH Childcare Waitlist for a longer period of time than another child, the family will not receive a call about an available space if their child is not the age needed by the center.
        • Desired Date of Enrollment (the earliest date you need care)
          Anyone whose desired date of enrollment is significantly in the future -- (more than two months) -- will purposely be skipped. The Childcare Waitlist Administrator encourages employees to review their desired date of enrollment on a regular basis and confirm the date on the 4-month profile update email.  This helps prevent parents declining spaces unnecessarily.
        • Position on Waiting List
          The first child on the centralized Childcare Waitlist who meets the age requirement for an available space will get the first offer.

    • QuestionHow do I determine my Desired Date of Enrollment?
      • You will need to determine when you need care. If you have child care arrangements that you are happy with, move your Desired Date of Enrollment out one (1) year and put a reminder on your calendar to reevaluate your Desired Date of Enrollment two months prior to that date. 

        Once you have determined your Desired Date of Enrollment, you must call the NIH Childcare Waitlist Administrator at 1-800-777-1720 to have the change made to your child’s wait list profile.

         

    • QuestionI hear the NIH Childcare Waitlist is very long. How long is the wait?
      • The largest demand for child care is for children under the age of 2 years.   Children are eligible for care at 6 weeks of age; therefore most families that register with a due date will typically wait at least one year before their child is eligible for a space.  Children under the age of 2 years have smaller group sizes (6 spaces) than preschool children (20 spaces).   

        While the NIH Childcare Waitlist is long, child care center administrative staff often receive declines from several families prior to filling a space.  Families decline for a variety of reasons, e.g., desired date of enrollment is not accurate, family is happy with current child care arrangements, or the center's location might not meet the needs of the family. 

        The size of the NIH Childcare Waitlist can be deceptive.  If you are truly interested in having your child in an NIH sponsored child care center, you are encouraged to tour the three NIH sponsored child care centers, register only for the center(s) that meets your family/child's needs, and update your desired date of enrollment regularly. 

        Fortunately, NIH offers a personalized Child Care Resource and Referral Services to employees, trainees, fellows, and contractors to assist in researching alternate child care options. Employees are encouraged to explore alternate child care options near their home, work or relatives and choose a program that meets standards similar to the NIH sponsored child care centers.

        For additional information about the NIH Child Care Resource and Referral Services  , please call 1-800-777-1720 between the hours of 9:00 am until 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday.

    • QuestionHow do I change my Desired Date of Enrollment?
      • Once you have determined your Desired Date of Enrollment, you must call the NIH Childcare Waitlist Administrator at 1-800-777-1720 to have the change made to your child’s wait list profile.

    • QuestionWho do I contact to check on my child's status on the Childcare Waitlist?
      • You must email each child care center provider directly with the following information. You will receive a response within two (2) business days.

        RDCA: Please send an email to karla.canas@nih.gov with your child's name and date of birth, and the name of the person who put the child on the list.

        POPI: Please send an email to candice.alston@nih.gov with your child's application date, name and date of birth.

        ECDC: Please send an email to harveylv@od.nih.gov with your child's application date, name and date of birth.​

         

    • QuestionWhat is the NIH Child Care Resource and Referral Service?
      • ​When you contact the NIH Child Care Resource and Referral Service, a child care specialist will discuss your family child care needs and conduct a search for programs that meet those needs. The child care specialist will send you written materials to help you understand licensing standards, program differences and quality indicators. A list of helpful questions will make you feel more comfortable during your search and when making your decision about care.

        There are many child care programs located in the Washington, DC metropolitan area that are noted for high quality child care and a professional approach to the provision of quality, regulated child care.

        You may find alternate care (to the NIH-sponsored child care centers) is more convenient, more affordable and/or more appropriate for your family needs.

        You can use the NIH Child Care Resource and Referral Service as often as you wish, at no cost.  Call 1-800-777-1720.

    • QuestionHow are children chosen for enrollment?
        • Highest priority in the enrollment process will be given to children of NIH federal employees and trainees/fellows who have siblings currently enrolled in the same center.
        • Priority is given next to parents or legal guardians (federal employees and trainees/fellows) who work for the NIH.
        • Priority is given next to federal employees of other federal agencies.
        • Then priority is given next to NIH contractors who work at an NIH facility in Maryland (and for their preschool-age children only).

         ​

         

    • QuestionWhy is there a "sibling priority" policy?
      • The sibling priority policy was instituted in recognition of the paramount importance of family relationships for children during their formative years. Families have more time to develop stronger connections with the center staff and other NIH families. Siblings are able to interact with one another and have similar daily experiences with familiar staff and children. This arrangement benefits both the NIH as an employer and the NIH employees by reducing the stress and time placed on families during their transitions to and from home and work.

        If you are a federal employee or trainee/fellow and have a child enrolled at one of the three NIH sponsored Child Care Centers in the Bethesda/Rockville, Maryland area, you will be eligible for sibling priority at the center your child attends. You must register all siblings on the NIH Child Care Center Wait List.

        ​If you are an NIH Contractor and have a child enrolled at one of the three NIH sponsored Child Care Centers in the Bethesda/Rockville, Maryland area, you will not be eligible for sibling priority at the center your child attends.  When the sibling reaches preschool age (36-59 months), you may register the sibling on the NIH Child Care Wait List.

    • QuestionWhat happens to my child's status on the Childcare Waitlist if I leave NIH?
      • If you are no longer an NIH employee, an NIH trainee/fellow, an NIH Contractor ​or a Federal employee, you are not eligible for a space in an NIH sponsored child care center. Please immediately notify the NIH Childcare Waitlist Administrator at 1-800-777-1720 of your employment change.  Your child's name will be removed from the Childcare Waitlist.

        If you accept a Federal position within another Federal agency, you will receive a new priority level of "Employees of Other Federal Agencies".

    • QuestionIf both parents work for the NIH, do they get a higher priority?
      • No.​

    • QuestionWhy did my co-worker’s child get a space before my child when they put their name on the Childcare Waitlist after me?
      • Some of the most common reasons for this circumstance may be:

        • The child may have had a sibling already enrolled at the center.
        • The child was the appropriate age for the available space.
        • The child was offered a space in a center that you did not select.

    • QuestionWho do I call if I have a question about the Childcare Waitlist or wish to update my information?
      • Please call the NIH Childcare Waitlist Administrator at 1-800-777-1720.

  • expand-collapse question categoryEnrollment Process
    • QuestionI find the process to be confusing. Can you provide a better understanding of the enrollment process?
      • The enrollment process is completed by each of the child care center's administrative staff.  Adventist HealthCare/LifeWork Strategies is contracted by the NIH to be the Childcare Waitlist Administrator and to ensure accurate information is provided to the centers. Openings at the child care centers occur throughout the year when the children “age out” of a program, leave the center for another program or school, move out of the area, etc.

        When there is an opening at one of the centers, the center's administrative staff must first determine if there is another child in the center who needs that space. The number and ages of children  in each classroom is determined by the Maryland State Department of Education  and the National Association for the Education of Young Children .

        For example,
        •  If a three-year-old child leaves the program, there may be a child in a two-year-old room who needs to transition to the older age group. Therefore, when a three-year-old leaves, there could be a space in a three-year-old classroom or in a two-year-old classroom.
        Once it is determined where the space in the center exists, the center's administrative staff will determine the age or birth date range for the child who will be assuming that space. The center's administrative staff will then request a list of children who meet that age range requirement from the Childcare Waitlist Administrator.
         

        Using the names of appropriately-aged children on the Childcare Waitlist, the center's administrative staff first checks to see if there are any eligible siblings of currently enrolled children waiting for that space. If there are none, the center's administrative staff calls the first person on the Childcare Waitlist based on date of application and desired date of enrollment.

        • Sibling Status
          NIH employees who have a child currently enrolled in the same center get "sibling priority" for their other children.
        • The Age of the Child
          The first family on the NIH Childcare Waitlist whose child meets the age requirement for the available space will be called. Even if a child has been on the NIH Childcare Waitlist for a longer period of time than another child, the family will not receive a call about an available space if their child is not the age needed by the center.
        • Desired Date of Enrollment (the earliest date you need care)
          Anyone whose desired date of enrollment is significantly in the future -- (more than two months) -- will purposely be skipped. The Childcare Waitlist Administrator encourages employees to review their desired date of enrollment on a regular basis and confirm the date on the 4-month profile update email.  This helps prevent parents declining spaces unnecessarily. 
        • Position on Waiting List
          The first child on the centralized Childcare Waitlist who meets the age requirement for an available space will get the first offer.
        The amount of time between the center calling the parent and the actual opening varies anywhere from an immediate opening to 3 months.
         
        For example,
        • A parent leaving the center is required to give one month notice in writing. The first person on the Childcare Waitlist would have approximately one month before the space is available. If, however, the first person does not accept the space, the people further down on the Childcare Waitlist would have less than one month. If many people have to be called to fill the space, the timeframe could be very short.
        When the center's administrative staff contacts a parent about a space, the parent has 2 business days to respond to the initial phone call or email regarding the available space. As long as the response is within the 2 business days, the parent can then schedule a tour of the center (if they have not already toured). This visit is usually scheduled within 2 business days. A decision to accept or decline the space is expected the morning after the tour of the center.
         
        For example,
          • If the center's administrative staff calls on a Thursday at 2:30 p.m., the parent has until Monday at 2:30 p.m. to return the call. If the parent tours the center on Tuesday at 10:00 a.m., the center's administrative staff will expect a decision by Wednesday morning.
        PLEASE NOTE: An offer of enrollment PRIOR to your desired date of enrollment, but within the week of the desired date, is considered a valid offer. A child's enrollment date and tuition obligation commences on the Monday of the week in which the desired date of enrollment falls.
         
        The center's administrative staff will not call for a current space in the center if the desired date of enrollment is significantly in the future (more than two months).
         

        It is extremely important to keep an accurate desired date of enrollment.  

        If the first parent declines, the center's administrative staff will call the second person on the Childcare Waitlist based on date of application and the desired date of enrollment, then the third person on the list, then the fourth, etc. 
         
        The center's administrative staff then reports all of the information regarding calls made, enrollments, and declines to the Childcare Waitlist Administrator for data entry.  
         

        There is a Decline Policy for the Childcare Waitlist, as follows:

        The first time a parent/guardian is offered a space for a given child in any of the three NIH child care centers and that space is declined, or the parent/guardian does not respond within two (2) business days, the child's Childcare Waitlist profile will be given a new registration date, i.e., the date of this first decline. 

        The second time a parent/guardian is offered a space for a given child in any of the three NIH child care centers and that space is declined, or the parent/guardian does not respond within two (2) business days, the child's Childcare Waitlist profile will be closed in the NIH Childcare Waitlist.  If the child is an only child, the parent/guardian waitlist profile will be closed as well.

        • If parents/guardians are still interested in enrolling the child at an NIH child care center, the parents/guardians and child's profile can be re-activated for the NIH Childcare Waitlist by contacting the NIH Childcare Waitlist Manager at brichmon@adventisthealthcare.com or by calling 1-800-777-1720.
        • If the parent/guardian needs to reactivate a child's profile only, please supply the child's full name, centers to waitlist the child for, and a desired date of enrollment in the email. All reactivated Chidlcare Waitlist profiles will be given a new registration date, i.e., the date the reactivation is completed. DO NOT re-register the child as the child will not be connected with the original parents/guardians/sibling registration. The closure of a child's profile from the NIH Childcare Waitlist does not affect the status of siblings who may also be on the NIH Childcare Waitlist.
        • It is imperative for parents to keep the desired date of enrollment accurate to avoid enrollment offers at inopportune times that will result in declining. Parents can do this by contacting the NIH Childcare Waitlist Administrator at 1-800-777-1720.​
    • QuestionHow are enrollment selections made from the NIH Childcare Waitlist?
      • Centers enroll children for specific age groups, using licensing requirements to determine ages of children   permitted in certain size groups (the younger the child, the smaller the group). So, Centers enroll based on children’s age.

        Within a specific age group, parents are called on a first-come, first-served basis, using the date they were placed on the NIH Childcare Waitlist, their desired date of enrollment, and in accordance with the priority order mentioned above.


    • QuestionDo Centers have “peak” enrollment times, when there are many openings?
      • Although enrollments occur year-round, the majority "peak" time is during June and August due to the beginning of the academic school year.

    • QuestionWho can I contact to find out about the likelihood of a space becoming available?
      • You must email each child care center directly with the following information. You will receive a response within two (2) business days.

         
        RDCA: Please send an email to karla.canas@nih.gov with your child's name and date of birth, and the name of the person who put the child on the list.
         
        POPI: Please send an email to candice.alston@nih.gov with your child's application date, name and date of birth.
        ECDC: Please send an email to harveylv@od.nih.gov with your child's application date, name and date of birth.

         

         

    • QuestionWho will contact me about an opening?
      • The child care center's administrative staff will contact you via telephone or email, so keep your Childcare Waitlist profile contact information updated. If you are out of the office for an extended period of time, such as vacation or maternity leave, please make sure it is indicated on your voice and email.

    • QuestionHow much advance notice do I receive if there is an opening for my child?
      • Centers try to give parents as much notice as possible. However, in the event of an unexpected vacancy, the center director will work with you to accommodate the specific situation.

    • QuestionWhat will happen if I am contacted about a space while I am on vacation or maternity leave?
      • If you are out of the office for an extended period of time, such as vacation or maternity leave, please make sure it is indicated on your voice mail message and email "out of office" notice. When a child care center's administrative staff receives your out of office notice, they will try to contact you using all of your contact information. If they are unable to reach you, you will not receive a decline. However, the space will not be held for your child.​

    • QuestionHow much time do I have to make up my mind about accepting a space when it is offered?
      • Once you receive notice of a vacancy from the center, you will have two business days to respond to the center.

        If you do not respond to the notice within two business days, the Childcare Waitlist Administrator will document a decline of the space and your child’s Waitlist profile will be given a new registration date with the date of the decline for all centers listed on your child's Waitlist profile.

        If you have not visited the center previously, you should immediaely schedule a tour.

    • QuestionHow do I schedule a tour of one of the centers?
    • QuestionWhat happens if I decline a space?
      • There is a Decline Policy for the NIH Childcare Waitlist.

        The first time a parent/guardian is offered a space for a given child in any of the three NIH child care centers and that space is declined, or the parent/guardian does not respond within two business days, the child's Waitlist profile will be given a new registration date, i.e., the date of this first decline. 

        The second time a parent/guardian is offered a space for a given child in any of the three NIH child care centers and that space is declined, or the parent/guardian does not respond within two business days, the child's Waitlist profile will be closed in the NIH Childcare Waitlist.  If the child is an only child, the parent/guardian waitlist profile will be closed as well.

        • If parents/guardians are still interested in enrolling the child at an NIH child care center, the parents/guardians and child's profile can be re-activated for the NIH Childcare Waitlist by contacting the NIH Childcare Waitlist Manager at brichmon@adventisthealthcare.com or by calling 1-800-777-1720.
        • If the parent/guardian needs to reactivate a child's profile only, please supply the child's full name, centers to waitlist the child for, and a desired date of enrollment in the email. All reactivated waitlist profiles will be given a new registration date, i.e., the date the reactivation is completed. DO NOT re-register the child as the child will not be connected with the original parents/guardians/sibling registration. The closure of a child's waitlist profile from the NIH Childcare Waitlist does not affect the status of siblings who may also be on the NIH Childcare Waitlist.
           

        It is imperative that parents/guardians keep their child's desired date of enrollment accurate to avoid enrollment offers at inopportune times that will result in a decline. Parents can do this by contacting the NIH Childcare Waitlist Administrator at 1-800-777-1720.

    • QuestionWhat happens if I leave NIH?
      • You will be given a two month “grace period” to make other arrangements for care. 

        If you accept another Federal position within another Federal agency, please notify the Wait List Admini​strator at 1-800-777-1720 if you would like to place your child(ren) on the wait list for "Employees of Other Federal Agencies".  

         

    • QuestionWho do I contact to get information about the Enrollment Process?
  • expand-collapse question categorySubsidy Program
  • expand-collapse question categoryNIH Back-up Care Program
    • QuestionWhat is the NIH Back-up Care Program?
      • The NIH Back-up Care Program offers a comprehensive array of emergency and/or short term care for children, adult/elder dependents and self-care across the United States. NIH Federal employees, trainees and fellows can use this program when they need to be at work and their regular child or adult/elder care is unavailable.

        The NIH has contracted with Bright Horizons, LLC to provide access to their Back-up Care Advantage Program. This service will assist in balancing the competing demands of work and life.

    • QuestionWhat is the Bright Horizons Back-Up Care Advantage Program?
      • The Bright Horizon Back-Up Care Advantage Program® is designed to provide NIH Federal employees and NIH Trainees/Fellows with back-up care when normal dependent care arrangements are unavailable. Bright Horizons’ extensive network encompasses thousands of center-based and in-home care agencies that have been identified and invited to join their network to support the needs of the NIH workforce within the United States. Each provider is monitored for performance through a comprehensive quality assurance program administered by Bright Horizons.

    • QuestionWho is eligible to use the NIH Back-up Care Program?
      • The NIH Back-up Care Program is available to NIH Federal employees and NIH Trainees/Fellows.  A vaild NIH email address is required.  An eligible NIH Trainee/Fellow will be classified as a Fellow in the NIH Enterprise Directory.

    • QuestionAre NIH Contractors eligible?
    • QuestionWhen might I use back-up care?
      •  

        NIH Federal Employees and Trainees/Fellows can use the service for planned needs and last minute emergencies, such as:
        • School vacations
        • When a regular caregiver is ill or on vacation
        • During maternity transition
        • To accommodate flexible work schedules
        • When a regular caregiver has a doctor or other appointment
        • When a full-time center is closed
        • To give a regular caregiver or stay-at-home spouse a day off
        • To assist with employee relocation
        • When children are mildly ill

         

    • QuestionCan I use the NIH Back-up Care Program while on travel?
      • Yes, when on official NIH travel orders. The NIH Back-up Care Program can then be used either at home to fill child care gaps or at the destination.

    • QuestionWhat types of Back-up Care are available?
      • Back-up care can take several forms, depending on your needs. Some common examples of the back-up care available include:
        • Caring for a well child in a child care center or in your home because his or her regular child care is not available. (Accommodates children ages 6 weeks - 12 years.)
        • Caring for a child who is mildly ill in your home. (Accommodates children ages 6 weeks – 12 years.)
        • Caring for an older adult / elder relative who requires companion services. (Accommodates dependents age 13 years and beyond.)
        • Caring for an older adult / elder relative who requires personal care, such as help with dressing, bathing, toileting, etc. (Accommodates dependents age 13 years and beyond.)
        • Care for yourself when you are recurring from a treatment or illness.

    • QuestionWho can receive care?
      • You and any child or adult relying on you as a primary caregiver qualify to receive care.

    • QuestionHow do I register?
      • You can register online at the Bright Horizons website, https://backup.brighthorizons.com External Web Site or by telephone
        at (877) 242-2737.

        A valid NIH email address is required.​

    • QuestionIs there a fee for care?
      • Yes, the fee will differ depending on the type of care requested.

        • In-Home Care: $16.00 per hour/ up to three (3) children or adults 
        • Center-Based Childcare:  $6.00 per hour/ per child  

        NOTE: There is a 4 hour minimum for all care.

    • QuestionHow is the fee collected?
      • Payments for all programs are collected at the time a reservation is confirmed by the Back-Up Care Advantage Program consultant. Fees are payable by credit card or electronic fund transfer (EFT).

    • QuestionWhen should I make a reservation?
      • You can request care up to 30 days in advance or on the same day care is needed. Every effort will be made to accommodate your request. Care availability is not guaranteed and will depend on the availability of providers on any given day.  Please keep in mind that teacher professional days, winter break, spring break, and August are peak times for care requests.

        A trained Bright Horizons consultant can assist you with your care needs, identify options available, and make arrangements on your behalf.

        NOTE: Before you use a child care center in the network, you will be asked to complete enrollment forms that are required to meet state licensing and provider requirements. Consultants will be able to provide you with those materials. Before you use a home health care provider, you may be asked to complete forms required by agencies that require more information about your care needs. Consultants will be able to provide you with the appropriate materials.

    • QuestionWhat if I need to cancel my reservation?
      • If you need to cancel your reservation, you must contact Bright Horizon before 5:00 pm (local time) on the business day prior to the day of care is scheduled. Any cancellations received after this time will be considered late, will be counted as a day of care, and will result in you being charged.

    • QuestionWhen and how often can I use the NIH Back-up Care Program?
      • Back-up care can be used when you need to be at work and your regular child or adult/elder care in unavailable.

        You may use up to 10 days of care/per employee/per calendar year.


    • QuestionWho is providing the care?
      • THe NIH has contracted with Bright Horizons, LLC to provide access to the Back-Up Care Advantage Program nationwide network of quality child care centers and trained, credentialed home health care professionals including hundreds of licensed Bright Horizons child care centers.

    • QuestionHow does Bright Horizons select the child care center providers in the network?
      • Bright Horizons selects centers whose teacher-to-child ratios are consistent with NAEYC guidelines where possible, or meet or exceed state licensing requirements. When centers join the network, they are asked to verify that their employment screening process is consistent with state licensing requirements, including criminal background, education/credential, and reference checks; health exams; and CPR/AED/first aid training. The Back-Up Care Advantage Program is the only provider network that includes Bright Horizons’ own network of high-quality child care and early education programs.

    • QuestionWhat is “mildly ill child care”?
      • Mildly ill back-up child care is for children with a common, short-term illness or symptoms of an illness that have caused them to be excluded from their regular child care setting. Some examples of the types of illnesses or symptoms experienced by children receiving mildly-ill back-up child care include a fever, diarrhea, or a rash with a fever. To know if your child qualifies for mildly-ill child care, call Bright Horizons at (877) 242-2737 and describe his/her symptoms or illness when making your reservation.

    • QuestionHow are home health care agencies selected by Bright Horizons? How do you ensure quality care?
      • Bright Horizons works with credentialed in-home care agencies that comply with the regulatory requirements of their state. Specifically, they ensure that the agencies have an extensive screening process, perform background checks and health exams, provide proof of credentials, and thoroughly verify employment references.

        Bright Horizons looks at how caregivers are managed, trained, and supervised. Specifically, they seek competencies in the areas of stress management, elder care, and positive behavioral management of children. Bright Horizons also ensures that the caregivers receive ongoing training in stress management and safe care.

        A multi-tier approach to monitor the quality of care is used, working closely with the families to educate them about the optimal care environment and working with the home health agency to provide quarterly communications about current trends, areas for caregiver training, and updating competency areas. Finally, continually asking for feedback from families about their care experience supports ongoing improvement of the service.

    • QuestionWho will be providing adult / elder care? What types of care can they provide?
      • Non-medical care activities are typically provided by sitter companions, while medical care is provided by certified nurse assistants, credentialed practical nurses, or registered nurses, depending on the medical skill level required. Personal care assistants and home health aides may also provide care.

        Non-medical care of older adults can include meal preparation, bathing and grooming, and companion services. Medical care for older adults can include administration of medication and blood pressure or diabetes monitoring.

         
        Additional fees apply for the provision of medical care.

    • QuestionWhat other resources are available to the NIH Community?
    • QuestionWho do I contact if I have additional questions?
      • Please contact the NIH Child and Family Programs team at (301) 827-3250.