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Child Care

Welcome to UC San Francisco Child Care & Family Services. We consistently strive to meet the diverse needs of UCSF faculty, student, and staff through our Child Care Centers, Referral Service, Parent Lecture Series, and other alternative resources. We invite you to explore our website, to find the resources that are right for you and your family.


The My Family at UCSF website provides a wealth of information about child, youth, and older adult services.
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More Information

Back-Up Care

Enrollment for UCSF’s Back-Up Care Pilot Program has closed for 2014-15.  To receive updates on future availability, please complete a brief survey.

UCSF has partnered with Bright Horizons Family Solutions, a leading provider of employer-sponsored child care to offer this pilot program which provides emergency back-up care when your regularly scheduled care is unavailable.

What is Back-Up Care?
A breakdown in regular child or adult/elder care arrangements can be stressful, and affect the ability to successfully balance personal and professional demands. That’s where Back-Up Care comes in. This benefit provides center-based back-up child care and home-based child and adult/elder care through the most comprehensive national network of high-quality child care centers and experienced, carefully selected in-home care providers available.

Who is Eligible for Enrollment?
UCSF Faculty in the Ladder Rank, Professor in Residence, Clinical X, Adjunct, and Health Sciences Clinical Professor series with appointments of 51% or more. Residents and Clinical Fellows (as appointed by the Office of Graduate Medical Education). One enrollment per household.

Back-Up Care Includes
• Access to Bright Horizons Back-Up child care centers
• Access to Bright Horizons full-service child care centers
• Access to additional high quality non-Bright Horizons child care centers
• In-home child care
• Mildly ill child care
• In-home adult/elder care

Child care centers available through the Back-Up Care program are either Bright Horizons centers, which are exclusive to this program network, or are other centers that have met their stringent quality requirements. All in-home professionals are trained, screened, and credentialed. These carefully selected caregivers meet stringent credentialing requirements, pass an extensive background check and screening process, and are trained in CPR/First Aid. See the program FAQ’s below for more details.

Program Details
• Up to 10 days per year per employee
• $30 per child $55 per family co-pay for center based child care
• $10/hour co-pay for in-home care child or adult care

Back-Up Care Registration
• Advance registration prior to breakdown in care - register today for peace of mind tomorrow
• 24 hours a day 7 days a week call center consultant support with telephone and internet accessibility
• Up to one month in advance up to day care is needed
• Up to 5 consecutive days

Enrollment Policies
• Enrollment fees are non-refundable.
• Continued enrollment is contingent upon maintaining a 51% or more appointment status in the above stated UCSF affiliations.
• Duration of service is from the date of your registration with Bright Horizons through May 31, 2015.

If you have questions regarding UCSF’s Back-Up Care Pilot Program, please contact contact Family Services at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 415.502-6312.

Bright Horizons Back-Up Care: Frequently Asked Questions

Exactly what is the Back-Up Care Advantage Program®?
The Back-Up Care Advantage Program is a service designed to care for children or adults/elders when they need temporary care giving. Employers contract with Bright Horizons to provide the service and make the benefit available to their employees, typically at rates much lower than the actual cost of care. Employees can then use the program when they need back-up care for their children, adults/elders, and even themselves—in their homes, the adults’/elders’ homes, or at high-quality child care centers across the country. Examples of the times back-up care is most often used include when:
• Employees’ regular caregivers become ill or temporarily unavailable
• Flexwork/telework accommodations are needed: when employees are called into work on their usual days off; when employees need to be at work for a large project or a busy time of the year, etc.
• Employees’ stay-at-home spouses/partners have appointments
• Adult/elder relatives need short-term care (in the homes of either the employees or the adults/elders)
• Needs arise for companion or medical care for employees or spouses/partners
• Employees are between child or adult/elder care arrangements
• Children’s regular child care centers or after-school programs are closed due to professional development days, holidays, mid-term breaks, or inclement weather days
• Transitioning back into a regular work schedule when returning from leave
• Employees incur business travel or relocation to another city
• Other work/life issues that employees may face that require temporary back-up care

In summary, the Back-Up Care Advantage Program enables people to manage their responsibility to their families with their obligations at work.

The Back-Up Care Advantage Program provides employees with convenient web or phone access to our care consultants who help secure dependent care options that best suit their requirements, including Bright Horizons-managed centers, non-Bright Horizons centers, and our network of in-home care providers. After employees make their initial requests, our care consultants manage the process of contacting the preferred providers, confirming all necessary paperwork is in place and securing care as requested. Our care consultants confer with employees during the process as needed or requested; however, employees typically save invaluable hours by not needing to be actively involved in sourcing their back-up care solutions.

How does this program work?
The Back-Up Care Advantage Program provides both center-based and in-home back-up care options for employees’ children and their adult relatives, including sick child care services. A key distinction to the Back-Up Care Advantage Program network is that it is the only back-up solution to offer access to more than 300 Bright Horizons-managed child care centers that are open to the community and available to organizations through our network program. The network is supplemented by nearly 2,000 child care center partners in communities in which we do not have centers.

Through a network of 1,200 in-home care and nanny agencies—many of which are exclusively contracted to Bright Horizons and employ more than 200,000 individual caregivers, we utilize home care professionals to provide back-up care in the homes of employees or their elder/adult relatives. The Back-Up Care Advantage Program provides our clients’ employees with the highest quality care available in the areas where they live and work. The program also provides multiple options, where possible, to accommodate employees’ differing needs, commuting patterns, and family preferences. These services are available to employers and employees across the country regardless of the size of the employee group in a given area through the Back-Up Care Advantage Program.

How can I be certain that the back-up caregiver is highly trained and that all appropriate background checks have been conducted?
To deliver the caliber of services for which Bright Horizons is known, we incorporate a number of measures to ensure caregivers’ delivery of our Back-Up Care Advantage Program services.

• Training: Appropriate levels of experience, education, and ongoing training are crucial to the quality of our program. Caregivers’ experience levels, educational backgrounds, and professional development plans are regulated and dependent upon each state’s licensing standards. Our provider relations team is responsible for contracting, credentialing, training, and monitoring providers on an ongoing basis. A defining characteristic in the quality of Bright Horizons-managed centers is the ongoing training programs we offer to support our employees’ professional development. Bright Horizons staff members are required to complete Essentials, our baseline training program, during their first year of employment. In addition, a minimum of 20 hours of professional development each year is required (although this requirement may be higher in some state or local licensing jurisdictions). Bright Horizons also provides online learning opportunities for all of our employees, accessible through our company intranet, and provides funding for staff to attend local, state, and national training conferences.

Extended network providers are required to obtain training in accordance with state and national licensing regulations, usually focused on areas such as appropriate hygiene, diapering and toileting procedures, appropriate responses to biting/hitting incidents, looking for signs of child abuse and neglect, handling medical emergencies, and reporting and tracking injuries. Additionally, we require in-home agencies to manage, train, and support their caregivers, including on-going professional education in areas such as safe caregiving techniques, stress management, and behavior management.

• Background checks: Background and reference checks are performed as required by state and local law (including fingerprinting, child abuse, and sex offender registry checks where required and available). All Bright Horizons centers comply with state, local, and federal regulatory requirements for screening applicants. Applicants are requested to submit résumés or applications that include work history, education history, licensures/certifications, and at least three professional references. Verification of the candidates’ educational background is obtained. Transcripts are requested from the candidates with degrees from universities or technical institutions, and hard copies of licensures and certifications are required. Extensive background investigations are also conducted, including a criminal record search and a cross- reference check to determine prior convictions or other records of criminal activity that would call into question employees’ suitability to care for children or to perform their roles within Bright Horizons. A pre-employment health exam is obtained for each candidate; pre-employment fingerprinting is conducted when consistent with the center sponsor’s personnel practices and/or licensing requirements.

Extended network centers submit documentation regarding their hiring (screening) practices, background checks (including drug testing, medical exams, proof of credentials, and others as required by law), educational programs available, and their practices around training. We require that in-home agencies validate their hiring practices and specifically outline the screening process, background checks, drug testing, medical exams, proof of credentials, and thorough employment reference verifications. All providers must comply with state, local, and/or federal regulatory requirements for screening applicants, as applicable.

Who certifies that the back-up caregiver can be trusted in my home?
Bright Horizons provides our clients with the assurance that caregivers being sent into their employees’ homes are credentialed and insured. By requiring our partner agencies to employ their caregivers, we are guaranteeing that a hiring process is in place that includes extensive screening. We require agencies to validate their hiring practices and specifically outline the following: the screening process, background checks, drug testing, medical exams, proof of credentials, and thorough employment reference verifications; this requirement is generally not found in most registry agencies engaging independent contractors to provide the services. The type and level of background check that is completed is determined by state regulation and, as such, vary throughout the country.

How does your national network of quality child care centers and qualified, professional in-home caregivers work?
Back-up child care is available through a nationwide network of Bright Horizons- managed child care centers and other quality centers (not managed by Bright Horizons) that have been carefully screened. Bright Horizons’ back-up child care centers were the first of their kind to be accredited by NAEYC, which is the nation’s leading organization focused on the quality of educational and developmental services for children. (As noted previously, NAEYC accreditation is the most highly regarded “stamp of quality” that an early childhood program can receive.) All child care centers available through the Back- Up Care Advantage Program are either Bright Horizons-managed centers or meet established standards of quality for accreditation or state licensing, including developmentally appropriate curriculum, appropriate health and safety policies, teacher- to-child ratios, and teacher qualifications. An advantage of the Back-Up Care Advantage Program is that it is the only care network available which includes Bright Horizons- managed centers—no other network has access to our centers.

To further expand and enhance our network coverage, the Back-Up Care Advantage Program utilizes a nationwide network of more than 1,200 in-home health agencies and other provider agencies representing more than 200,000 caregivers. These caregivers are specifically trained to deliver back-up child or adult/elder care and mildly ill care in the homes of employees and/or their adult/elder relatives—regardless of where they live. Further, Bright Horizons is continually expanding our network of centers and in-home care providers as our clients’ needs dictate.

With the Back-Up Care Advantage Program, we not only target the type of care employees request, but also confirm availability for the closest provider. If the confirmed provider does not meet the employee’s needs, we conduct further research to identify enhanced referrals until appropriate care is secured. This is an important distinction between our services and those provided by resource and referral agencies—we deliver solutions, not just information.

Will I have an opportunity to meet and interact with the adult/elder care provider before taking advantage of this?
As with in-home child care providers, employees may request to meet caregivers in advance (sometimes referenced as a “meet and greet”); however, we cannot guarantee that specific caregivers will be available on the day(s) care is actually needed. Employees are charged a use of the service, and any applicable co-pays for the “meet and greet” and all applicable care minimums apply (i.e. four-hour minimum for in-home care).

How quickly can your national network of health professionals respond to an immediate emergency need for services?
Our goal is to respond to all requests for back-up care within the timeframe requested by each individual employee. Emergency requests for back-up care submitted through our call center are responded to immediately, 24/7, by trained Back-Up Care Advantage Program care consultants. If requests are made during standard operating hours, care will be researched immediately and confirmed for employees within two to four hours, although every effort will be made to deliver a solution faster.

The fulfillment of requests received outside of standard business hours is driven by the operating hours of the providers, but our care consultants begin the process of securing employees’ request for care as soon as providers open for business.

Are there certain types of in-home health care requests that your national network of health professionals are not equipped to handle, or will not accept based upon specific criteria?
Very rarely have we come across a request that we are unable to process. Our network is extensive and includes home health and nanny agencies that provide care for a variety of situations, ranging from basic companion care through skilled medical care.

How do you monitor the quality of care provided by your national network health care professionals? How often does this take place?
The Back-Up Care Advantage Program® is structured to provide the best possible back- up care services to the employees of Bright Horizons’ clients using the Bright Horizons network of high quality child care centers and in-home care providers. The Back-Up Care Advantage Program operates based on three principal strategies to ensure quality and minimize risk through:
• First, quality services provided by experienced caregivers through highly reputable agencies/centers
• Second, rapid and effective management and issue resolution regarding any services incidents or concerns.
• Third, extensive liability protections for our clients.

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