Washington University provides  support and resources to help you balance work and family life. As an employee, you have access to child care and elder care benefits, as well as an array of family tips, tools and WashU expert-led courses and articles aimed at helping you take care of your family.

Spotlight: Child Care Resources

Center-Based Care

  • The Family Learning Center, through Bright Horizons, offers exceptional child care and early childhood education for children from six weeks to six years at its North Campus location. To schedule a visit or discuss enrollment, please contact wustl@brighthorizons.com, (314) 935-5437 or Kellie Jackson, Center Director, at jkellie@wustl.edu. Information on the additional health and safety measures being taken by Bright Horizons can be found here. **The FLC currently has openings for children age 0 -5.**
  • The Washington University Nursery School provides the highest quality preschool program for children two years and seven months to five years of age and is located on the Danforth Campus. For more information, please contact the Nursery School at (314) 935-6689 or email nursery@wustl.edu.  
  • The University City Children’s Center offers priority enrollment to families affiliated with Washington University. The UCCC offers child care and early childhood education for children from six weeks to six years of age. For information about enrollment or to schedule a tour, please contact enrollment@uccc.org or (314) 726-0148.

Back Up Child and Adult/Elder Care through Bright Horizons

  • Back Up Care Advantage, through Bright Horizons, provides in-home or center-based care for children or adults/elders when their regular care provider is unavailable. Employees are now eligible for 30 uses of Back Up Care through December 31. 
  • In-home care for children and adult/elders is $7 per hour with a four hour minimum. Center-based care is $20 per child per visit, with a $30 per family per visit maximum.
  • To register or to make reservations for care, please contact Bright Horizons by phone at 877-242-2737, online at brighthorizons.com, or by the Back-Up Care(Bright Horizons) Mobile App. First time users will need to register by clicking on “Create Your Profile” and entering username “WUBACKUP” and password “BACKUP.”

Sitting and Nanny Resources through Bright Horizons

  • Sittercity, through Bright Horizons Additional Family Supports, is a database of babysitters, nannies, elder companions, pet sitters and housekeepers. Employees have a free membership to this service. View the Sitter City flyer.
  • Nanny Search, through Bright Horizons Additional Family Supports and College Nannies and Tutors. This service is currently offering a $300 discount on new placement fees of live-out nannies.

    Childcare Referral Services

    • Missouri
      • Child Care Aware of Missouri can provide referrals to licensed child care providers in Missouri. To request a referral, please call 1-866-892-3228, email referralcenter@mo.childcareaware.org, or search online here.
    • Illinois
    • Work-Life Solutions, the university’s employee assistance program, can assist with an employee’s search for child, adult and elder care. Contact Work-Life Solutions at 844-365-4587 or online at GuidanceResources.com. First time users should click “Register” and enter the Web ID: WASHU.

    Other Local Resources  The following resources are unaffiliated with Washington University. They are not endorsed by the University and are listed for informational purposes.

    • University City-based babysitting service STLSitter is offering a free one year membership to health care workers and other first responders. Membership for STLSitter is $75 per year. Once registered, 24/7 access to pre-screened childcare providers is available.
    • TLC Family Care connects families with professionally-screened caregivers and household managers. They also provide E-Learning Aides and Tutor Services. Membership fees apply.
    • The Discovery Children’s Center, located in Dogtown, is currently enrolling children ages 6 weeks to 5 years. Their mission is to nurture curiosity, creativity, and exploration in an environment of caring and mutual respect. For information, call (314) 645-1211 or email Debbie@DiscoveryChildrensCenter.com.
    • The Gateway Region YMCA Enrichment Program will provide a place for children, ages 5 – 12, to attend remote school while being supervised by Y Staff at select locations. Information about this program can be found at https://gwrymca.org/. At this time, programs are scheduled to begin on August 24 and run through October 24. The YMCA also offers a variety of other child care resources and early childhood education programs.
    • Varsity Tutors was created by a WashU alum and combines highly-credentialed experts with an advanced technology platform dedicated to live, personalized instructions. They offer online tutoring, a variety of online group classes and academic enrichment programs and test prep. Fees apply. 
    • Tutoring Services WU Students have created a registry of WU students who are available to tutor children online, many for free or at greatly reduced prices.  
    • Sitter Stream offers virtual supervision and connects babysitters and tutors with families. They take a personalized approach to every session and plan age appropriate activities for children.  
    • Screen Sitters offer virtual supervision and entertain children ages 6 – 12 via live 1:1 video chat. Children can play games, read books, work on crafts, virtually tour museums and zoos, as well as many other activities. 
    • The Saint Louis Science Center is offering Launch Pad Learning Camps beginning on October 5. This on-site program will provide students (K-8th grade) a learning environment and Science Center team members will facilitate and provide students guidance during their school-based virtual courses. Camps run from 8:30 – 3:30 and extended care is available. To register, call (314) 289- 4439 or email daycamps@slsc.org.
    • Vetta Sports is offering Virtual Learning Support and Sports Programs at their South County, Ballwin, and St. Peters locations beginning on August 31 for students in K-5. Students in 6th – 8th grade may participate if they have young siblings in the program. Programs run from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm and extended care hours are available. Information on these programs can be found here.
    • The Pointe is offering a supervised learning lab for students taking virtual courses. Academic instruction is not provided. Students ages 5 – 13 can enroll and the program is tentatively slated to run through mid-October. Information on registration can be found here. 
    • St. Louis County Library is offering live tutoring, homework help and test prep assistance for students in grades K – 12. Anyone with a valid St. Louis County Library card is eligible for this service through tutor.com. To access, go here and enter your library card information.
    • St.  Louis Public Library offers a variety of free youth camps for children up to 18 years old. Information on these programs can be found here.

    Online Educational Resources  

    • ABCMouse: Educational Games, Books, Puzzles & Songs for Kids & Toddlers Full online curriculum for children ages 2 – 8.   
    • Adventure Academy Learning games and videos for reading, math, science and more for kids ages 8 – 13. 
    • BrainPOP K-8 site provides students with informational videos that explain everything from science and social studies to art, music and health in great detail, all while introducing subject-specific vocabulary. 
    • DIY.org offers a huge library of hands-on projects, how-to videos, and an awesome kid community for children ages 4 – 13. 
    • GoPeer is a resource that allows families to connect with qualified college students who are available to tutor.
    • National Geographic This curriculum, normally reserved for teachers and behind a paywall, is now free for parents, giving access to videos, interactive maps and activities that encourage students to explore everything from ecology to geography. 
    • Prodigy Prodigy connects in-class learning to at-home math practice that kids love – making it your go-to platform for effective blended and virtual learning. 
    • ReadWriteThink Users from K – 12 can choose a grade level and then gain access to activities and projects, games and tools, tips and how-tos, printouts and more that focus on reading and writing.  
    • Teachers Teaching in Room 9 (PBS) The Nine Network is producing two hours of literacy and math instruction for prekindergarten through fourth grades, weekdays from 12:30–2:30 pm, free of charge on television. The grade-appropriate instruction, taught by committed local educators at home, ensures all kids in our region have access to quality teaching during the academic year shutdown and into the summer, regardless of access to internet or computers.   

        More family support resources:

        • Attend family-focused Zoom sessions hosted by WashU Psychiatry and our resident mindfulness expert. Sessions cover topics such as parenting in a pandemic, coping with stress and family challenges.
        • Have a pet? Find care for your furry friends through Bright Horizons.
        • Have fun with the family – engage in our virtual activities with options for all ages.
        • Work-Life Solutions, our employee assistance program, offers 24/7 support for all aspects of your life.
        • Affordable mental health care for employees and their children – In addition to the physical effects of COVID-19, threats to mental health should not be discounted. To support the university community during these stressful times, the WashUDirect Psychiatry service offers convenient, affordable mental health care for employees and their children.

        Tools and Guides

        Toolkits and guides:

        Parenting Articles and Tips 

        WashU experts from Psychiatry and other areas weigh in to help you cope with parenting during a pandemic. 

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