Financial Assistance for Child Care

Child care can be expensive. At Harvard, we work with you to find ways to ease the burden. If you’re a benefits-eligible employee, you can set up a Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account that allows you to set aside up to $5,000 each year on a pretax basis to pay for eligible child care expenses - saving you money in taxes while helping you pay costs.

Child Care Scholarships

Harvard offers child care scholarships, based on need, to eligible faculty, staff and postdocs that help defray the cost of child care. Scholarship awards vary from family to family and year to year, and payments are made on a reimbursement basis. Applications are accepted once per year and current recipients need to re-apply each year.

The next open application is for Service & Trade Union employees only. This will be open Monday April 10 - Friday May 5, 2017.

To apply to any of these programs, you must be a benefits-eligible faculty, staff member, postdoctoral fellow or member of one of Harvard’s unions and on a Harvard payroll. Application procedures and schedules may vary by job type. For details, please consult the information below, based on your employee group (if you are unsure of your group, please contact your local human resources office to find out):

2017-2018 Child Care Scholarship Cycle

Service and Trade Union employees:

The 2017-2018 child care scholarship online application will be open Monday April 10 and will close Friday May 5, 2017. Log in to PeopleSoft with your HarvardKey and select Self-Service>Childcare Scholarship App. Supporting paperwork and online applications are due by the closing date. More information can be found here.

Faculty, postdoctoral fellows, administrative/professional staff, and non-union support staff

The application period for academic year 2017-18 will be open mid-July through mid-August, 2017. Exact dates will be posted in June. See here for additional information (based on the 2016-2017 program).

Addition Information about Harvard’s Child Care Scholarships

View a presentation on the Child Care Scholarships (11 minutes)

Frequently Asked Questions

Completing the Child Care Scholarship Online Claim Form (5 minute video)

Harvard ladder faculty (assistant, associate, and full professors) with children under the age of six in child care may be eligible for the Ladder ACCESS program.

To learn more about financial aid for child care in Massachusetts, visit Child Care Choices of Boston.

Assistance Paying for Back-up Care

The SOURCE Program (Subsidy for Occasional, Unplanned, and Respite Care Expenses) helps eligible employees get to work when regular child or elder care falls through. If you are eligible, this service can help you cover some of your costs by reimbursing you up to $350 of back-up care expenses paid to an eligible provider - including care provided by a friend, neighbor, relative, other in-home provider, or licensed child/elder care center.

Paying for Adoption

If your family is exploring adoption, you may wish to consider the Harvard Adoption Assistance Plan, which provides up to $5,000 to assist with adoption costs.