Backup and Drop-In CareBackup care, also known as drop-in care, is short-term care you access when your regular childcare arrangements fall through. You can use backup care when, for example:
- Your child’s school/childcare center is closed for a holiday or in-service.
- Your baby sitter cancels unexpectedly.
- Your nanny is sick.
- You have to work outside your regular hours.
- Your child is mildly ill.
- You are at a conference with your family and require care for your children.
- Other: if you would like to discuss whether any other situations would qualify for back-up care, please contact the Office of Well-being
Backup care is not intended as a replacement for routine childcare arrangements.
Care@Work Backup Care
Northwestern offers a subsidized childcare backup care program through Care@Work, separate from the Care.com digital marketplace. This program allows faculty, staff, graduate students and postdocs to:
- Find vetted in-home or center-based backup care providers, when regular care falls through.
- Utilize a subsidized rate for up to 10 days (minimum 4 hours/maximum 10 hours) per academic year:
- In-home care: $6/hour, available for care 24 hours/7 days a week
- Day care center-based care: $10/day, available for care during business hours
- You must contact Care@Work to find in-home backup care. If in conversation with Care@Work they are unable to fill your in-home backup care request, they may authorize you to source a caregiver from your personal network (you will be responsible for hiring, vetting, and negotiating rates) and receive reimbursement up to $100 per day by submitting paperwork to them.
- Unused days do not roll over
We recommend registering for your Care@Work account before the need arises and requesting care as early as possible.
For more information about the Care@Work Backup Care Program, contact email@example.com.
Area Drop-In CareIn addition to the Care@Work Backup Care Program, Northwestern faculty, staff, students and postdocs may also access center-based backup/drop-in care at the following University partnership centers (the center’s standard rate will apply):
Bright Horizons@Evanston (1629 Orrington Avenue, Evanston)
McGaw YMCA Children's Center (1420 Maple Avenue, Evanston)
- 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 the enrollment page.
- 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.
University Children's Center (446 Ontario, Chicago and & affiliated KinderCare Centers)
- 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.
- Complete the UCC Backup Care Enrollment Form and fax it to the center.
- Make a reservation between 24 hours and 14 days in advance, if possible, by calling the center director for the designated center.
If your child is ill and cannot attend their regular childcare provider, contact Kanella Maniatis at Illinois Action for Children for referral to special, in-home sick child care providers.