MCPS and SEIU Local 500 know that managing your work and family commitments can be challenging. Child Care providers and centers can close for training days or unexpected emergencies.
The Emergency Child Care Fund is an employee benefit negotiated by SEIU Local 500 and MCPS that
is intended to help supporting services employees deal with an emergency break in their regular child care arrangements, or situations where care that they have paid for is unavailable. It's a win-win for everyone - your kids are in a short-term child care environment, and you can show up to work without worrying. SEIU Local 500 represented staff can either apply for reimbursement, or use the Care@Work service.
What is Care@Work?
Care@Work is a vendor that has been contracted to provide back-up care for children and dependents of eligible supporting services employees, ages 16 years and younger. Supporting services employees can choose in-home or center-based care for their children.
What is the difference between Care@Work and MCPS reimbursement?
Care@Work is a service designed to help you find the child care you need in a few short steps. The MCPS reimbursement is designed to help pay for the emergency care you found yourselfthat is provided by a licensed childcare provider. Our goal is to provide you the support you need, however you need it.
Care@Work is a vendor contracted by MCPS to provide back-up childcare services for MCPS supporting services employees. By using the Care@Work service, eligible employees can access a large network of in-home care providers and center-based care options. Care@Work schedules the providers and connects them with supporting services employees.
Using the MCPS reimbursement process, supporting services employees can submit a receipt for child care by submitting Form 441-1. MCPS will then reimburse the employee up to $50 per day for eligible care. The reimbursement process is tentatively scheduled to continue through the end of the fiscal year.
How does a supporting services employee access Care@ Work?
Supporting services employees can either visit mcpsmd.care.com, the Care@Work app, or give a call to 855.781.1303.
How does a support services employee use the reimbursement process?
Supporting services employees should complete form 441-1 within ten duty days of care. They should follow all directions on the form, attach proof of payment, as well as an invoice for care. MCPS will then process the form, and supporting services employees will receive payment via direct deposit or check.
What is considered emergency child care?
The Emergency Child Care Fund is intended to support SEIU Local 500 represented employees dealing with an emergency break in their regular child care arrangements, or in situations when the regular child care they have already paid for is unavailable.
Eligible parents/guardians may request a reimbursement/voucher for up to, but not exceeding, 5 days in a fiscal year (July 1-June 30) per child. Parents/guardians cannot seek reimbursement/vouchers for more than 15 days per year, regardless of the number of children they may have. Availability of funding may impact availability of benefits. Also, please note that for school age children, summer days, and regularly scheduled holidays/in-service days are not considered emergency breaks in care, and therefor are not covered. Emergency snow days are covered. Temporary Part Time hours worked by bargaining unit members and voluntary overtime hours are not eligible, except with approval from the employee’s director. For students who are not school age, provider vacation days or other related closures are only covered if the employee pays for the days as part of child care fees. If a provider has prorated their fees for these days, reimbursement may not be provided.
Who can use the fund?
Bargaining Unit Members of SEIU Local 500 may use the emergency child care fund. In order to be eligible for an emergency care reimbursement/voucher, supporting services employees must be scheduled to work that day and must show up for work. This fund also may be used during summer work if the employee is performing a like job or if a member is a 12 month employee.
Which children are eligible?
Supporting services employees must be the legal parent/ guardian of the minor child, age 16 or under, in order to request reimbursement/services for care. Parents/guardians may request reimbursement/services for more than one child. Care@Work does not provide care to children receiving special education services age 17-21. Care for these children is, however, is eligible for reimbursement if the supporting services staff member submits Form 441-1.
Which child care providers are eligible to provide emergency care?
This provision only applies to reimbursed care. In order to be considered eligible to participate in the program, a child care provider or a child care center must have a valid license to provide child care in their state.
Because of the relationship between MCPS and Care@work, all providers in the Care@Work service are eligible.
Does MCPS assume the whole cost of care?
No. MCPS will reimburse up to $50 per day, per child. The cost of care through Care@Work is covered with a small co-pay. Center-based care is $10 dollars a day, per day. In home care has a $6 co-pay per hour, up to four children at a time. Support services employees must book care for at least 4 hours per use. They may not book care for longer than 10 hours.
Where did this fund come from?
When SEIU Local 500 and MCPS were negotiating about benefits, we both agreed that parents needed support in dealing with child care challenges. This benefit is a direct result of the bargaining between the MCPS and SEIU Local 500.