Back-Up Care for Children and Adults

We are pleased to announce a new benefit which is now available to BU faculty and staff – Back-Up Care for children, adults, and elders for planned as well as last-minute circumstances.

As we continue to face daily uncertainty during the COVID-19 pandemic, back-up care services are being made available to ease some of the concerns you may have about continuity of caregiving for both children and adults. Back-up care is designed to provide alternative care until regular care arrangements can resume. This benefit provides you with a national network of vetted caregivers for children and adults. You have round-the-clock access to services through the web, a mobile app, and by phone.

As Boston University faculty and staff, you now have a back-up care benefit that allows you to continue to provide care for your family members even when your regular care plan is disrupted for any number of reasons.

Annual Benefit Limit:

  • 10 days per employee

In-Home Back-Up Child, Adult and Elder Care

Bright Horizons Back-Up Care can be used anytime you need to be at work, but your family member needs assistance or support.

Examples of when you can use back-up childcare include:

  • Your child’s school or center is closed.
  • You have a change in your work schedule and need in-home childcare for evening and/or weekend hours.
  • You are in between childcare arrangements.
  • Your regular caregiver is unavailable.

Examples of when you can use back-up adult and elder care include:

  • Your parent’s regular in-home care provider is unavailable.
  • Your grandparents live out of state and need assistance.
  • Your parents live with your sister and your sister has a temporary conflict making her unable to care for them.
  • Your mother-in-law is in the hospital and you would like someone to be with her for support.
  • Your spouse or partner (or other adult family member) is recovering from an injury or surgery and needs assistance.


  • In-Home Care – $6 per hour (child and elder care)
    • One in-home caregiver can care for up to three children
  • In-Center Care – $15 per child per day; $25 per family per day (childcare only)
    • Limited availability due to COVID-19


You and your family member(s) must be registered for Bright Horizons Back-Up Care before you can make a reservation and use the services. We strongly recommend that you register in advance so that you are ready to use the benefit when you need care.

Register and Reserve Back-Up Care using one of these three options:

  • Go Online.
    • Be sure to use your full name and BU ID number.
  • Call the toll-free number at 1-877-BH-CARES (242-2737).
    • Care consultants are available 24 hours per day, 7 days a week.
  • Download the App: Search “back-up care” in the App Store or Google Play

Taxability of the Value of the Benefit

The back-up care benefit that you receive may be taxable. Internal Revenue Code allows you to set aside a maximum of $5,000 per calendar year tax free for dependent care assistance. The maximum includes both Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account contributions and the value of any back-up care subsidies. Any amounts that exceed the $5,000 maximum are subject to federal and statement income tax withholding and Social Security and Medicare tax withholding.

Frequently Asked Questions


Please direct any questions you may have to the Human Resources Service Center at or 617-353-2380.