Human Resources

Back-Up Care Frequently Asked Questions

The Back-Up Care Advantage Program

Q: What types of back-up care are available?

A: Back-up care can take a few forms, depending on your needs. However, it most typically is in the form of:

  • Caring for a well child in a child care center because his or her regular child care is not available
  • Caring for a child who is mildly ill in a home setting
  • Caring for an older adult/elder relative who requires homemaker or companion services, such as household tasks, cleaning, cooking, shopping, and laundry
  • Caring for an older adult/elder relative who requires personal care, such as help with dressing, bathing, toileting, etc.

Q: How does Bright Horizons select the center providers in the network?

A: The child care centers in our network are accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) or meet or exceed state licensing requirements. We select centers with teacher-to-child ratios consistent with NAEYC guidelines where possible, or meet or exceed state licensing requirements. When centers join the Back-Up Care Advantage Program they are asked to verify that their employment screening process is consistent with state licensing requirements, including criminal background, education/credential, and reference checks; health exams; and CPR/first aid training. The Back-Up Care Advantage Program has the only center provider network that includes, where available, Bright Horizons' own network of high-quality child care and early education programs.

Q: How are home health care agencies selected? How does Bright Horizons ensure quality care?

A: We work with credentialed in-home agencies that have been identified as conforming to the regulatory requirements of that state. We require that agencies validate their hiring practices. Specifically, we ensure that they have an extensive screening process, perform background checks and health exams, provide proof of credentials, and thoroughly verify employment references.

We also look at how caregivers are managed, trained, and supervised. Specifically, we seek competencies in the areas of stress management, working with older adults, and handling behavioral issues with children, and that ongoing training in stress management and safe caregiving techniques is offered.

We employ a multi-tier approach to monitor the quality of care. We work closely with the families to educate them about the optimal care environment. We also work with the home health agency to provide quarterly communications about current trends, areas for caregiver training, and updating competency areas. Finally, we continually ask for feedback from families about their care experience to support ongoing improvement of our service.

Q: Who will be providing adult/elder care? What types of care can they provide?

A: Non-medical care activities are typically provided by sitter companions, while medical care is provided by certified nurse assistants, licensed practical nurses, or registered nurses, depending on the medical skill level required. Personal care assistants and home health aides may also provide care. Non-medical care of older adults can include meal preparation, bathing and grooming, and companion services. Medical care for older adults can include administration of medication, and blood pressure or diabetes monitoring. Additional charges may apply for medical and evening/weekend care.

Q: How do I find out who the network providers are in my area?

A: Network providers are associated with Bright Horizons and are members of the Back-up Care Advantage Program, but are not owned or managed by Bright Horizons. To inquire about network providers in your area you should contact a Bright Horizons consultant at (877) 242-2737, as information on network providers is not listed on the Bright Horizons website.

Q: What is "mildly ill back-up child care?"

A: Mildly ill back-up child care is for children with a common, short-term illness or symptoms of an illness that have caused them to be excluded from the regular child care setting. These illnesses include a fever, diarrhea, a rash with a fever, and ear infections. Mildly ill child care will be delivered by home health care agencies. Home health care agencies would most likely assign a certified nurse assistant or a home health aide who would specialize in pediatric care and be under the supervision of a registered nurse. These caretakers must be state-certified, which requires specific education, supervised experience, and training. Additional charges may apply for medical care.

Q: How do I request care?

A: You can get started in two ways:

  • Call 1-877-242-2737
  • Communicate online through Live Connect

Our knowledgeable consultants will register your family for the Back-Up Care Advantage Program, discuss your care needs, identify options available, and make arrangements on your behalf. Before you use a child care center in the network, you will be asked to complete enrollment forms that are required to meet state licensing and provider requirements. Our consultants will be able to provide you with those materials. Before you use a home health care provider, you may be asked to complete forms required by agencies that require more information about your care needs. Our care consultants will be able to provide you with the appropriate materials.

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