Back-Up Care

Brown University offers eligible employees access to back-up care for children, adults, or themselves when there is a temporary breakdown in normal care arrangements. The back-up care program provides 24/7 access to qualified specialists, at a low cost to employees, for both planned and unplanned care needs.

Eligible employees can rely on Bright Horizons for:

  • Back-up child care: in-home well/mildly ill care or center-based care through a nationwide network of licensed child care centers.
  • Adult/elder care: in-home care for a parent, grandparent, spouse, adult child, self, etc.
  • Additional family support: self-serve and self-pay additional family supports including regular caregivers, weekend babysitters, pet caregivers, tutoring, access to the Sittercity mobile app, and more through the Bright Horizons CareDirect enhancement. Click here for more information.

Learn more about Bright Horizons back-up care.


All benefit-eligible employees may use the services provided under the back-up care benefit immediately upon hire. Coverage ends on the last day of active employment.


You can reserve care the day it is needed or up to 30 days in advance. Registering in advance can make accessing care easier in the event of an emergency.

To register and/or make a reservation, you will need your 9 digit Brown ID number.

If you make a care reservation that cannot be fulfilled, Bright Horizons will initiate My CareAssist(TM) to give you the option of finding your own back-up provider and being reimbursed for related care.

Program Parameters and Copays

  • Back-Up Care Visits
    • 15 days per eligible employee per calendar year
    • To help parents ease back into returning to work, an additional 15 days of back-up care for:
      • Newborns within the first 12 months
      • Newly adopted children within the first 12 months of adoption
  • Back-Up Care Copays
    • Center-Based Child Care: $15/child/day or $25/family/day
    • In-Home Care: $4/hour/caregiver (one caregiver can care for up to three recipients at one time)


"The back-up care benefit helped my sister and me work and care for our mother the way we needed while she was in the final stages of dementia.  Needing one of us at the hospital 24/7 to advocate for her, we were able to secure overnight care through this benefit which allowed one of us the ability to work the next day.  Back-up care allowed us to juggle both our work responsibilities, our need to be with her while in the hospital and during her last days in hospice.  Thank you back-up care! - Trish Dumin - Senior Library Specialitist, Tech Support/Training

 "While traveling, I was able to use back-up care to work in one room and have my son in the next room with a caregiver.  I could go back and forth between the rooms to nurse.  That is the ultimate in accommodating a mother's needs." - Erika Edwards - Assistant Professor of Biology


Contact Jennifer McKay at [email protected] with questions.