Understanding your Care @ Work benefit through Harvard University
Through Care @ Work, benefits-eligible Harvard faculty and staff have access to a range of dependent-care services. The following explains how to register for all Care @ Work services, and describes the services that Care @ Work offers.
How to Register
- Register before you need it. In order to use Care @ Work services, eligible employees must first complete, hand-sign, and submit a waiver. You must submit this paper document by scanning it or taking a clear picture of it and emailing (firstname.lastname@example.org) it to the University’s Office of Work/Life. (While email is preferred, faxing is also possible at 617-495-4124. If you fax, please follow up with an email so we know to look for your form).
- Receive a confirmation email. Once this waiver is received by the Office of Work/Life, the eligible employee is added to file feed that goes to Care.com via PeopleSoft each evening. PeopleSoft will automatically send the registered employee a confirmation email to the Harvard email address on file.
Enroll with Care.com. Once you have received the automated confirmation email, you will need to enroll with Care.com. Instructions are contained in that email. You must enroll using your Harvard email address. When enrolling:
- If you already have a personal Care.com account and you wish to merge it with the new account you are creating via your Harvard benefit, be sure to click “No” in answer to the question at the top of the enrollment page, “Are you new to Care.com?” You can then follow the prompts to merge your accounts.
- If you do not have a Care.com account or do not wish to merge it with the account you are creating via your Harvard benefit, click “Yes” in answer to the question at the top of the enrollment page, “Are you new to Care.com?”
- Choose and use your benefits. Once enrolled with Care.com, you will see a screen guiding you to choose the services you need. Some are accessible online and via the Care.com app, others require a phone call.
What Care @ Work Offers
Your Care @ Work benefit gives you access to multiple services. These are:
Basic Care.com membership: Unlimited and free use of Care.com’s online database of caregivers and other services (known as the Digital Platform). This is a self-service tool that allows you to search for caregivers and other household help. Once you are enrolled with Care.com, you will see this option as, “I want to search on my own.”
Please note that caregivers on the digital, self-service platform are not necessarily licensed or background-checked. For more information on Care.com's security practices, please see their Safety Center.
Back-up child care: When regular child care is not available, back-up care services may be able to help. This program provides each benefits-eligible faculty or staff member with access to a total of 20 days per year of back-up care, including in-home child or adult care and center-based child care. (Use of the on-campus School Vacation Camp programs do not debit against these 20 days.)
- In-home child care: This in-home back-up care service differs from the self-service Care.com database; Care.com has represented that these caregivers are Care.com employees, are specifically trained, experienced, and vetted to provide in-home back-up care. When you use in-home back-up care, you are gaining access to a smaller pool of caregivers and the professional placement services of Care @ Work. Days of this service count toward the overall total of 20 days per benefits-eligible faculty or staff member. Information about costs can be found here.
- In-center child care: Back-up care is also offered on a space-available basis through a network of child care centers (for children up to age 5) that contract with Care.com. Specific centers are visible once you are logged in. Days of this service count toward the overall total of 20 days per benefits-eligible faculty or staff member. Information about costs can be found here.
- On-campus School Vacation programming: Care @ Work is the provider of Harvard's on-campus School Vacation programs for children ages 5 to 12. Days of this service do not count toward the overall total of 20 days per benefits-eligible faculty or staff member, and registration is through a separate, dedicated portal. Read more here.
Elder and Adult Care Services
- Back-up adult care: In-home back-up care for elders or other adults, including care for yourself when recovering from illness or injury. When you use in-home back-up care, you are gaining access to the professional placement services of Care @ Work. Days of this service count toward the overall total of 20 days per benefits-eligible faculty or staff member. Read more here. Information about costs can be found here.
- Self Care:Employees can use Care@Work back-up care providers for themselves. If you have has a medical procedure, for example, and need someone in the house to help you by reminding you to take medication, preparing simple meals, or just keeping you company, then you can call on Care@Work, too. The costs for back-up adult care apply and can be found here.
- Senior Care Planning Program: This service helps faculty and staff navigate the demands of caring for an aging family member or other adult by connecting you, free of charge, with a professional senior care advisor (a licensed geriatric social worker who is an expert in adult and elder care). The program also provides referrals and access to vetted services around the country. Learn more here.
- Care.com HomePay. If you have a household employee such as a caregiver or housekeeper, you may be responsible for household payroll, tax, and HR compliance. Care.com offers HomePay for an additional fee, but as part of your Harvard benefit, registration fees are waived (whether you have found your employee through Care.com or not).