When SEIU Local 500 and Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) were negotiating about benefits, they both agreed that parents needed support in dealing with child care challenges. One of those challenges is arranging for emergency back-up care when regular child care arrangements are not available.
The answer to this challenge is the Emergency Child Care Fund. This fund supports SEIU Local 500 represented employees dealing with this situation, so that parents can find quality care on short notice and go to work without worrying. The fund also covers emergency snow days, and it may also be used during summer work if the employee is performing a like job or if an SEIU member is a 12-month employee.
This fund makes finding emergency back-up care much more affordable. Represented staff can apply for reimbursement for a licensed child care provider they find themselves, with MCPS reimbursing up to $50 per day per child. Or they can opt to use Care@Work, a vendor that has been contracted to provide back-up care for children and dependents of eligible supporting services employees. When using Care@Work, the copay for center-based care is just $10 per day for each child.
Through the Care@Work service, employees can access a large network of in-home care providers and center-based care options, all of which have a valid license to provide child care in the state where they are located. This service is also designed to help parents find emergency child care in a few short steps – via website, phone app, or phone call.
Eligible parents/guardians may request a reimbursement or voucher for up to five days in a fiscal year per child (and up to 15 days per year, regardless of the number of children).