Backup & Drop-in Care

Northwestern faculty, staff and students have access to center-based backup or drop-in care at:

Bright Horizons at Evanston offers drop-in care at 1629 Orrington Avenue.

The McGaw YMCA Children's Center has NU dedicated backup care available for 3 through 5 year olds. Infant and toddler spaces are based on availability.

The University Children's Center offers backup care at 446 Ontario.

For help with in-home backup care, contact Action for Children at 773-356-8135.

What is Backup/Drop-In Care?

Backup childcare is available when regular childcare arrangements are disrupted in order to supplement, not replace, primary childcare. This program is not intended for use when a child is ill, but rather,

  • When the regular provider is ill or on vacation.
  • When the individual needs to be at work on a school holiday.
  • When families are relocating and haven't found permanent care.
  • When individuals are transitioning back to work from a leave of absence.

How to Use Bright Horizons-Evanston Backup/Drop-In Care

  1. View the welcome letter from Center Directer, Gina Mosqueda and meet the leadership team of Bright Horizons Evanston.
  2. Complete the Enrollment Forms and view the immunization chart. Forms can be submitted to the center via email at evanston@brighthorizons.com.
  3. Call Bright Horizons at (847)491-9032 to determine if space is available as soon as you know you'll need drop-in care.
  4. Bring appropriate items such as a change of clothing, diapers, and a comfort item like a blanket or favorite toy.
  5. When you arrive at the center, remit payment for the appropriate aged-based backup care fee and obtain a receipt for reimbursement.
  6. Submit the receipt for $25 per use up to $150 per household, per school year and the Request for Reimbursement Form pdf icon to The Northwestern University Office of Work/Life & Family Resources for reimbursement.

How to Use McGaw YMCA Children's Center Backup/Drop-In Care

  1. Complete the Backup Care Registration Form and DCFS Enrollment Packet and return them to the center at 1420 Maple Ave in Evanston. For additional enrollment information, please visit our enrollment page.
  2. Call the McGaw YMCA Children’s Center at (847) 475-8580 to determine if space is available as soon as you know you'll need backup care.
  3. When you arrive at the center, remit payment for the appropriate aged-based backup care fee and obtain a receipt for reimbursement.
  4. Submit the receipt for $25 per use up to $150 per household, per school year and the Request for Reimbursement Form  to The Northwestern University Office of Work/Life & Family Resources for reimbursement.

How to use Backup/Drop-In Care (The University Children's Center & affiliated Kindercare Centers)

  1. Pre-register as soon as possible by contacting the center director for The University Children’s Center (UCC) at (312) 867-7056. She will help you register at UCC.
  2. Complete the UCC Backup Care Enrollment Form pdf icon and fax it to the center.
  3. Make a reservation between 24 hours and 14 days in advance, if possible, by calling the center director for the designated center.
  4. Bring appropriate items such as a change of clothing, diapers, and a comfort item like a blanket or favorite toy.
  5. Bring a $75 personal check, cashier's check or money order for each child.
  6. Sign in and walk your child back to the appropriate classroom. Let the teacher know of anything that might help them care for your child.
  7. Plan to spend an extra 10-15 minutes with your child at the center to help them settle in.
  8. Obtain a backup care receipt.  Submit the receipt for $25 per use up to $150 per household, per school year and the Request for Reimbursement Form pdf icon to The Northwestern University Office of Work/Life & Family Resources for reimbursement.

View Kindercare Center Network for Backup & Drop-In Care