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Childcare Fee Assistance FAQs

Who is eligible for childcare fee assistance?

  • Recipients must be full-time faculty, staff or undergraduate/graduate school students. 
  • Children must be enrolled full time, five days per week, at the center. 
  • Combined family income must be $130,000 or less, as documented on last year's tax return. 
  • Both parents must be employed or in school full time (as is consistent with Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account rules). 
  • Recipients cannot be receiving fee assistance or scholarship from another source, for example, the TGS Child Care Grant.

When is the best time to apply for fee assistance?

Applications can be submitted beginning in January for the following school year or as soon as tax documentation from the prior calendar year has been completed, you can submit the fee assistance application with the completed tax return to the center or Work/Life & Family Resources contact within Human Resources. Fee assistance applications are accepted on a rolling basis, first come, first served.

To whom do I submit the fee assistance form and tax documentation?

  • Fee assistance applications for The University Children’s Center can be submitted toAllison Parker at aparker@kc-education.com.
  • Fee assistance applications for Bright Horizons @ Evanston can be submitted to evanston@brighthorizons.com.
  • Fee assistance applications for Bernice E. Lavin Early Childhood Education Center can be submitted to Business Manager, Bobby Dobroski.
  • Fee assistance applications for McGaw YMCA can be submitted to Rebecca Slenk.

How is the fee assistance money awarded?

For eligible faculty, staff or students fee assistance is awarded on a sliding fee scale according to the family’s adjusted gross income, as documented on the most recently filed federal tax return and the tuition rate associated with the child’s classroom.

Can I use fee assistance if I am using the Dependent Care FSA & University Match?

If you would like to enroll in the FSA, visit the Dependent Care FSA webpage for more information.

Dependent care expenses that allow you or your spouse to work can be reimbursed for a maximum annual election of $5,000.

Staff and faculty with a family adjusted gross income up to $100,000 can apply for Northwestern matching funds by completing the Dependent Care Match application.

Is childcare fee assistance taxed?

Yes. The fee assistance you receive will be taxed. In accordance with the Internal Revenue Code and related Regulations, certain employer provided dependent care assistance is considered taxable income. The University is reporting employer provided childcare fee assistance on the W-2 form. When determining your FSA Dependent Care contribution, you will want to take into account the amount of child care fee assistance received from the University, as the maximum annual exclusion for tax free employer provided dependent care assistance is currently $5,000 annually.

What are the tax Implications of receiving childcare fee assistance from Northwestern?

In accordance with the Internal Revenue Code and related Regulations, certain employer provided dependent care assistance is considered taxable income. The University is reporting employer provided childcare fee assistance on Form W-2. When determining your FSA Dependent Care contribution, you will want to take into account the amount of childcare fee assistance received from the University, as the maximum annual exclusion for tax-free employer provided dependent care assistance is currently $5,000 annually.

If you terminate your relationship with the University, you will remain liable for the taxes associated with fee assistance received, which will be added to your W-2.

Who do I inform if my status with Northwestern University changes?

If your status with Northwestern University changes, or if either parent is no longer working or in school full time, it is your responsibility to immediately inform Work/Life & Family Resources within Human Resources at worklife@northwestern.edu. It is also recommended that you inform the center director.