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New benefit helps with emergency back-up care for children, adults

Beginning Jan. 1, Emory faculty and staff, as well as Laney Graduate School students, will have access to temporary caregiving services when an unexpected breakdown in a routine childcare or adult/elder care arrangement occurs.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2016, benefits-eligible faculty and staff of Emory University, as well as students of the Laney Graduate School, will have access to emergency back-up care through a new partnership with Bright Horizons.

Emergency back-up care provides quick access to secure, temporary caregiving services when an unexpected breakdown in a routine childcare or adult/elder care arrangement occurs.

"We are very excited to launch this new benefit," says Audrey Adelson, manager of worklife and recognition. "Emergency back-up care is a very valuable resource that will help our faculty, staff and graduate students manage their work and caregiving responsibilities."

Pre-registration for the program begins Dec. 15. To give an overview of the benefit and explain how to use it, the Emory Worklife Resource Center is offering a series of sessions, including general workshops on Dec. 1, Dec. 3 and Dec. 7; a workshop specifically for Laney Graduate School students on Dec. 8; and webinars on Jan. 12 and Jan. 14. Registration is open now for these overview sessions.

Through the new program, Emory will subsidize the cost of the benefit to make emergency back-up care more affordable. The co-pay is $15 per child per day with a maximum of $25/family/day for center-based child care and $6/hour for in-home care (child or adult).

The benefit provides up to 10 days of back-up care per calendar year and is limited to no more than three consecutive uses. It can be used for family members of all ages, from infants through elders, including adults and children with special needs. It is available nationwide.

It initially began as a pilot project when the Laney Graduate School funded an emergency back-up care program for its graduate students several years ago. The Emory WorkLife Resource Center worked with Bright Horizons to administer the program for the graduate school.

The pilot allowed the university to see the value of emergency back-up care as a benefit to support faculty and staff who experience unexpected breakdowns in dependent care such as when a child gets sick or a caregiver is suddenly unavailable.

Adelson stresses that emergency back-up care should not be used for anticipated caregiving situations such as seasonal breaks from school, teacher workdays or times when a caregiver is on a planned vacation.

"It is really intended to help when emergency breakdowns in care occur," she says. "However, the new benefit also provides free access to Sittercity, an online service that can help manage anticipated care and other work-life needs such as locating routine care providers, tutors, pet sitters, and cleaning services."

Adelson adds, "There are times when it is really challenging to manage work and personal responsibilities. This new benefit is just another way to help."

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