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, nanny placement services, weekend babysitters, virtual babysitting, pet caregivers, tutoring, access to the Sittercity mobile app, and more through the Bright Horizons CareDirect enhancement.

Please Note: To ensure compliance with current IRS standards and practices, Brown may withhold and report taxes on certain dependent care benefits received, which are subsidized by Brown University. If the total of your back-up care subsidies received in a calendar year (or total of your subsidies plus your annual Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account election) exceeds the annual $5,000 tax-free limit allowed by the IRS, amounts over $5,000 will be considered imputed (taxable) income. Learn more here.

New to Back-up Care?

Please review the information below to learn more about the back-up care program and how to register or jump down to learn more about Additional Family Support Services.

Registering for Back-up Care

You can reserve care the day it is needed or up to 60 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.
OnlineUsername: Brown / Password: backup8
Phone: 877-BH-CARES (242-2737)

If you make a care reservation that cannot be fulfilled, Bright Horizons will initiate Out-of-Network Care 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)


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.

Access Back-up Care Enhancements

Virtual Tutoring Exchange: Eligible employees have the option to exchange a back-up care day for up to four hours of virtual tutoring. Tutoring is available for your dependents aged 5-18. Tutors can assist children and teens with reading, math, and more than 300 other subjects. Copays will apply. For more information, view some frequently asked questions.

Expanded Network of Tutors & Virtual Learning Support: Bright Horizons Additional Family Supports has expanded their network of tutors to include Revolution Prep, Varsity Tutoring, and Marco Polo Learning. Log in to explore Academic & Virtual Learning Support and Access Premium Tutoring and Test Prep.

Access to Babysitters and Nannies: Sittercity, a comprehensive database of local sitters, nannies, and housekeepers; will provide the option to search for and hire an “Educational Caregiver,” a babysitter or nanny with a background in education. Badges on caregiver profiles allow you to easily identify important credentials such as background check completion, as well as CPR and First Aid certification. The Sittercity membership fee is waived for Brown faculty/staff, but faculty/staff are responsible for the cost of any caregiver hired. Select Search for Sitters, Nannies & Housekeepers.


"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.