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.

To apply to any of these programs, you must be eligible for full active benefits AND a faculty, staff member, postdoctoral fellow or member of one of Harvard’s unions and on a Harvard payroll. Note: Support staff in postions covered by HUCTW should apply through their program (see link below). 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).

The next open application is for faculty, postdoctoral fellows, administrative/professional staff, and non-union support staff who are eligible for full, active benefits from Harvard University. It will be open from Wednesday, July 17 through Wednesday August 14, 2019.  Please look for an announcement email just beforehand. A smaller round for those hired between August 1 and early September will be open August 28 - September 11, 2019.

2019-2020 Child Care Scholarship Cycle

Service and Trade Union employees:

The application period for the 2019-2020 cycle is now closed and notifications were emailed on May 31, 2019. Please email if you would like to be added to the waitlist. 

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

The application period for academic year 2019-2020 will be open in PeopleSoft Wednesday, July 17 through August 14, 2019. All in eligible positions will be sent the announcement email from the VPHR just beforehand. (The smaller second round for those hired after August 1, 2019 will be Wednesday, August 28 through September 11, 2019). 

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)

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.