Human Resources

Back-Up Care Advantage Program

In partnership with Bright Horizons Family Solutions, Washington University offers the Back-Up Care Advantage Program to assist eligible individuals in balancing the competing demands of life and work. The benefit provides back-up care for eligible individuals when they need to be at work and their regular child or elder/adult care is unavailable.


  • Benefits-eligible faculty and staff
  • Clinical fellows
  • Post docs
  • Full-time graduate and professional students

Services Available

  • Center-based back-up child care
  • In-home back-up & mildly ill child care
  • In-home back-up elder/adult care

Area of Availability

Care options are available for dependents nationwide, including when accompanying or separated from eligible University employees on business travel.

Usage Limits

Eligible individuals are allotted 15 back-up care uses per family or household per calendar year (see User Guides for usage definitions).


  • Center-based care is $20 per child per visit, with a $30 per family per visit maximum.
  • In-home care for children and adults/elders is $7 per hour with a four-hour minimum requirement for all in-home care services. Additional charges apply for medical care.

Registration & Reservations

Dependents must be registered before care is provided. Reservations for care are required and may be made one month in advance up until the day care is needed. When registering or making reservations, please be prepared to provide your name, role (e.g., faculty or staff), and school/department.

To register or to make reservations for care, please contact Bright Horizons Family Solutions as by phone at (877) 242-2737 or by accessing and entering username "WUBACKUP" and password "BACKUP." Click on the "Register & Reserve Care" tab from the "How To Use Back-Up Care" section on that landing page. If you a re a new user, go to the "Not Registered Yet?" section and then click on the "Create Your Profile" link.

For questions concerning benefit eligibility, please contact the Office of Human Resources at 935-5990.

Frequently Asked Questions

Child Care Center User Guide (pdf)
In-Home Care User Guide (pdf)

Back-Up Care Advantage Program At-A-Glance (pdf)
Back-Up Care Advantage Program Overview Webinar (external site)
Back-Up Care Advantage Program Adult/Elder Care Information Webinar (external site)

Preparing for In-Home Childcare - Tip Sheet (pdf)
Preparing for Center-Based Childcare - Tip Sheet (pdf)
Preparing for In-Home Adult/Elder Care - Tip Sheet (pdf)

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