Backup Care Program

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

Bright Horizons at Evanston offers backup 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 and at other designated KinderCare pdf icon locations throughout the Chicago area for up to 20 days per year.

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

What is Backup 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 Care

  1. Complete the Enrollment Forms and return them to the center via email at evanston@brighthorizons.com.
  2. Call Bright Horizons at (847)491-9032 to determine if space is available as soon as you know you'll need backup care.
  3. Bring appropriate items such as a change of clothing, diapers, and a comfort item like a blanket or favorite toy.
  4. When you arrive at the center, remit payment for the appropriate aged-based backup care fee and obtain a receipt for reimbursement.
  5. 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 Resources for reimbursement.

How to Use McGaw YMCA Children's Center Backup Care

  1. Complete the Enrollment Forms pdf icon and return them to the center at 1420 Maple in Evanston or fax them to (847) 733-2562.
  2. Pre-registration is required.
  3. Complete the Illinois Department of Health Certification of Child Health Examination Form pdf icon and contact the YMCA Registrar for the remaining forms required.
  4. Call the YMCA Registrar at (847) 475-8580 to determine if space is available as soon as you know you'll need backup care.
  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 Resources for reimbursement.

How to use Backup Care (The University Children's Center & KinderCare)

  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. If another designated KinderCare center pdf icon is more convenient for you and your family, you may contact that center directly.
  2. Complete the KinderCare 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 Resources for reimbursement.

Kindercare backup program FAQs