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Childcare Subsidy

July 3, 2013

The Graduate School is forwarding this message to new graduate students, who may not have set up their Brown email account in time to receive this June message from the Provost. It announces a pilot program for for childcare subsidies. Applications for the program are due by July 31. See details below.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Provost Mark Schlissel <Provost@brown.edu>
Date: Mon, Jun 17, 2013 at 10:17 AM
Subject: Child Care Subsidy
To: community.president.prv_ccs@lists.brown.edu

June 17, 2013

Dear Colleagues,

In early March, President Paxson and I issued a response to the report of the advisory committee on childcare. Among the steps we indicated we would take to implement the series of actions detailed in that response was the formation of a Childcare Planning Group to advise on these matters. That group has been formed (membership listed below) and began its work in mid-April.

A first priority for academic year 2013-2014 was the design and implementation of a pilot program to provide childcare subsidies to eligible faculty, staff, post-docs, and graduate and medical students on a means-tested (using total family income), sliding scale basis. I am pleased to report that applications for that program are now available. For the initial pilot year of the program, the University has allocated $250,000 for subsidies for employees and $100,000 for students. While the amount of subsidy awards per household will depend on the number of applications and demonstrated financial need, we anticipate this program will provide childcare expense assistance to members of the community who will most benefit. The maximum yearly subsidy per household will be $4,000.

The deadline for childcare subsidy applications for next academic year is July 31, 2013. Award notifications will be made in late August, with the first subsidy award checks issued in September.

Because the program is beginning in the middle of the calendar year, the first awards will be available only through a direct check, which is considered taxable income and will be subject to withholdings and reported on W-2 forms. Beginning January 1, 2014, University employees may elect, if they wish, to receive childcare subsidy awards on a non-taxable basis through a Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account and will have the opportunity to make that election during fall 2013 Open Enrollment. Non-employees, including students and post-doctoral fellows, are ineligible under IRS rules to utilize Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts and will receive their awards in the form of direct checks. More information about how recipients may receive the subsidy, and the IRS limitations on contributions to Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts, is available on-line.

Detailed information regarding the program is also available on-line, as is the application. Community members may contact the University Benefits office at (401) 863-2009 or childcare@brown.edu with any additional questions or concerns.

I am pleased that we are able to proceed with this important program, and I am grateful to the Committee, chaired by Russell Carey, for their thorough and expedient work.

Sincerely,

Mark Schlissel
Provost

Members of the Childcare Planning Group:
Russell Carey, Chair, Executive Vice President for Planning and Policy
Rebecca Falcasantos, Graduate Student, Religious Studies
Maud Mandel, Associate Professor, Judaic Studies
David Rollins, Associate Director, Computing and Information Services
David Sobel, Associate Professor, Cognitive Linguistic & Psychological Sciences
AmyUmstadter, Director, Administration & Stewardship, Bio-Med Development 
Petia Vlahovska, Assistant Professor of Engineering
Jill Yersak, Postdoctoral Research Associate in Neuroscience
Drew Murphy, Director of Benefits and Staff to the Committee